Georges FreyssinetGeorges FREYSSINET worked at university for 20 years. He joined Rhône-Poulenc (RP) Agro in 1984 to develop plant biotechnologies. In 1992, he was appointed Scientific Advisor to the Scientific Direction of RP. In 1998, he became CEO of RhoBio, a JV between RP Agro and Biogemma and in 2008 Scientific Director of Limagrain. He was then appointed CEO of Genective, a JV between Limagrain and KWS. Since 2014, he is a consultant in the field of plant biotechnology and since 2019 has served as President of the AFBV.


Enabling genome editing to make European agriculture more sustainable


During the last decade genome editing has shown its potential to help achieve the Farm to Fork strategy. To overcome the obstacles of the GMO Directive preventing any cultivation of an edited plant (EP), AFBV and WGG propose a short amendment to the Directive identifying 4 categories of EPs to be excluded from the scope of the GMO legislation. These include edits reproducing (1) a feature that already exists in the breeder’s gene pool, (2) a feature that already exists in another plant species, (3) a novel feature for which the modification could have been obtained by spontaneous or induced mutagenesis, or (4) inserting an exact copy of a sequence already present in the breeder’s gene pool. These categories were chosen based on what can be achieved using traditional breeding. The varieties derived from such excluded EPs would remain subject to regulations applicable to conventional varieties. Conformity of an EP with an excluded category would be validated by a competent authority through a notification process.