The Coalition for Responsible Gene Editing in Agriculture announced that the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) has formally shown its support for the Framework for Responsible Use of Gene Editing in Agriculture.
BIO represents 1,000 members in a biotech ecosystem with a central mission to advance public policy that supports a wide range of companies and academic research centers that are working to apply biology and technology in the energy, agriculture, manufacturing, and health sectors to improve the lives of people and the health of the planet.
“BIO believes that innovation flourishes when science and consumer values are aligned and complement one another,” said Sarah Gallo, vice president of agriculture and environment for BIO. “This framework establishes a process to examine meaningful criteria in an objective, predictable and consistent way — characteristics that are important to technology developers, as well as stakeholders looking to endorse innovation in product development.”
Other industry leaders, including Cargill Inc., Costco Wholesale, FMI – The Food Industry Association, Genus PLC, PepsiCo and Tropic Biosciences, have publicly endorsed the Framework, acknowledging the value it provides to consumers and stakeholders throughout the agricultural and food supply chains.
“The Coalition appreciates the continued support from BIO and other agriculture and food industry leaders who share our commitment to transparency and open dialogue to build trust in gene editing technology,” said Charlie Arnot, chief executive officer of The Center for Food Integrity (CFI), the organization that administers the Coalition for Responsible Gene Editing in Agriculture.
“Gene editing has tremendous potential to benefit our entire food production system from the farmer to the consumer," he said. "These benefits will only be realized if consumers trust that the resulting products are safe and understand how using gene editing technology helps achieve goals that align with broader social goals like producing the food we need with less environmental impact and reducing pests and disease in crops and livestock. The Framework is one tool organizations can use to earn trust with food industry stakeholders and consumers.”
The Framework was developed by a multi-stakeholder coalition that included representatives from food companies, academia, civil society, technology developers, farmers and related associations. It outlines a set of principles and commitments that organizations voluntarily follow to demonstrate their willingness to be transparent about their use of gene editing and desired outcomes that benefit the food system, environment and society as a whole.
Companies, businesses, academic or government organizations that use gene editing or its outputs in food or agriculture are invited to join the Coalition and adopt the Framework. The Framework can be downloaded here.
The Coalition was formed by The Center for Food Integrity to support global understanding and acceptance of the responsible use of gene editing technology in the food system.