Rollout Events in the Nation's Capital

July 13, 2018

Dr. Adam Bogdanove (at right) of Cornell University led three presentations of CAST's newest publication, Genome Editing in Agriculture: Methods, Applications, and Governance on July 9 in Washington, D.C. The topic is timely, the technology is quickly expanding, and the effects are certain to be wide ranging. CAST is a part of the effort to make this breakthrough more accessible for the public and policymakers.

Jennifer Doudna, a CRISPR pioneer, says that public understanding of gene editing is catching up through a deluge of media coverage. "This increased fascination has led to a greater thirst to realize the benefits of CRISPR's applications," she says.   

CAST's new publication is more than media coverage--it looks at the science, the benefits, and the governance of genome editing. The authors focus their attention on a tool that can increase the positive impacts of plant and animal breeding on human welfare and sustainability. Genome editing enables unprecedented control over genetic material and offers the opportunity to make rapid advances that influence agricultural practices. Check out page two below for more information about the publication and the three rollout events.

To roll out this important research paper, Dr. Adam Bogdanove, a professor of plant pathology and plant-microbe biology at Cornell University, presented highlights at an event cohosted by the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU). Following that event, the National Coalition for Food and Agricultural Research (NC-FAR) hosted a House of Representatives lunch seminar and an afternoon Senate presentation.   

As this CAST blog explains, the issue paper addresses the concept by explaining (1) how genome editing is performed, (2) what types of edits can be made, (3) how the process relates to traditional breeding and other means of genetic modification, (4) what potential limitations may arise with this approach, and (5) what current factors affect the governance of genome editing.

Although much remains to be learned, it is clear that successful development of genome editing for crop and livestock improvement will benefit from science-based, value-attentive regulation that promotes innovation and transparency. 

Click the following to access (1) CAST Issue Paper #60, Genome Editing in Agriculture: Methods, Applications, and Governance, (2) its companion Ag quickCAST, and (3) the press release--all available on the CAST website.  A video of Dr. Bogdanove's slide presentation and speech is available here.   

This publication has received active social media response and reaction in agricultural publications. For example, check out this analysis from drovers.com. And a recent edition of AgriPulse online includes a quote from Dr. Bogdanove explaining that the authors made every effort to be "factual, not speculative," and they wanted to provide "insights but not opinions." When accessing the link for this article, scroll down to pages 9 through 11.  

Also, this recent CAST blog includes links that highlight the current buzz about genome editing