Prof. Dr. Detlef Bartsch

Genome editing- where precaution meets Innovation

Head of the Department “Gene Technology”at the Federal Office of Consumption Protection and Food Safety (BVL) in Berlin

Genome editing – where precaution meets innovation.One important question of today’s society is whether all genome edited organisms would be classified as genetically modified organism (GMO). Past experiences with GMO demonstrated that authorized GMO are safe for both human/animal health and the environment since no technique-specific risk has been identified. Hitting the brakes for a complete ban of genome editing is not a realistic option, and we need a concerted action on how modern biotechnologies should be applied in both a cautious and innovative way. It is definitely not only a technological but also a social and ethical debate. Taking no action by avoiding any change could increase the risk of food insecurity and socio-economic disasters. Our environment is constantly changing by the increasing number of humans followed by their impact on resources. Our common future can only be guaranteed if we intelligently apply all useful technologies for both, a sustainable and a social secure use of our common water, air, soil, and biological entities.