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CEO DATELINE – Biotech groups unveil online platform for GM foods

Jan. 18, 2019
By Walt Williams

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Two biotech associations have teamed up to launch a new online platform to highlight what they say are the benefits of genetically modified foods.

Innovature is meant to “spark a thoughtful dialogue around innovation in food and agriculture, with an initial focus on gene editing,” according to a joint news release by the Biotechnology Innovation Association and the American Seed Trade Association.

GM foods are controversial political issue, with some environmental and consumer advocacy groups calling for mandatory labels for GM products and increased regulation. However, the two associations want to highlight how gene editing “is spurring new developments in food and agriculture to address some of our most pressing societal challenges.”

“There is too much at stake as a society today not to have an open and transparent conversation about how gene editing in plants, animals and microbes can help address growing global challenges, such as climate change, sustainability and hunger,” BIO CEO Jim Greenwood said.

“Through Innovature and other efforts, we aim to go beyond one-directional communication to engage key influencers in a dialogue around shared values,” ASTA CEO Andy LaVigne added. “Our goal is to cultivate broad-based partnerships in order to fully realize the potential of evolving innovation in plant and animal breeding for the benefit of our health, our planet, and our food.”

While Innovature is currently focused on gene editing, the groups expect the platform to grow as other innovations in food and agriculture develop.