Crag News

CRAG researcher Josep Mª Casacuberta invited expert in the meeting of European agriculture ministers in Córdoba

The CRAG researcher and specialist in gene editing techniques was called as the invited expert to discuss the potential of new technologies for a more sustainable and resilient agriculture

The informal meeting of EU agriculture ministers, organized by the Spanish presidency of the Council of the European Union, took place in Córdoba from 3 to 5 September 2023. The main topic of the meeting was the use of new genomic technologies for more sustainable and resilient agriculture, especially in the context of the new proposal of the European Commission.

Josep Maria Casacuberta, CSIC researcher at CRAG is a specialist in the structure and evolution of plant genomes and was the unique invited expert in this informal meeting. He also has been a scientific expert of the panel of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and related working groups of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) since 2004.

Casacuberta discussed genome editing's potential to improve crop traits and reduce their environmental impact. He also explained the different genetic techniques used in plant breeding throughout history and from a scientific point of view. From domestication to the new tools of genome editing, highlighting the advantages of the latter.

The meeting also included a ministerial debate and a press conference, where Luis Planas, acting Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, and Janusz Wojciechowski, Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, summarized the main conclusions and challenges for the future of European agriculture.