New Breeding Techniques Platform

The New Breeding Techniques Platform believes that NBTs are important for the whole agri-food sector,  and not just for farmers and plant breeders. Furthermore, the underlying technologies are increasingly used in the medical sector. To showcase this, the Platform will publish interviews featuring representatives of both sectors, highlighting the practical applications of NBTs in the real world. Please find our stories below.


The future of european animal breeding and reproduction sector - ana Granados chapatte

15 October 2018
In a recent press release the European Forum of Farm Animal Breeders (EFFAB) announced their new Director, Ana Granados Chapatte. In the light of this development, we got in touch with her for our twelfth story to talk about recent developments on new breeding technologies in the European animal breeding sector, its future, and how it is affected by the current regulatory framework in the European Union.



The consequences of the ECJ ruling for the European Market - Greetje van Heezik & Fleur Tuinzing-Westerhuis

22 August 2018
The European Court of Justice ruled on 25 July 2018 in Case C-528/16 that organisms obtained by mutagenesis plant breeding techniques are GMOs and should, in principle, fall under the GMO Directive, in a surprising move that went contrary to the Advocate-General’s non-binding opinion. Against this background, we contacted Greetje van Heezik and Fleur Tuinzing-Westerhuis for our eleventh story, and asked them to elaborate on the implications this ruling might have for the European market and society as a whole.



Opportunities and challenges for research on food and nutrition security and agriculture in Europe – Dr. Robin Fears

30 July 2018
Our tenth story is based on an interview  with EASAC's Bioscience Programme Director, who has provided independent scientific support to guide EU policy for the benefit of society since 2002. We talked with him about their recently published report, the benefits of aligning various stakeholders in our food system, clear information provision concerning public debates, as well as the importance of adopting innovative technologies to address environmental and societal issues of food safety, agriculture and public health.


Plant biotechnology as an innovative response to social challenges – PD. Dr. Zerihun Tadele

11 July 2018
Our ninth story comes from a doctor in agronomy and molecular biology who works on the development of crop breeding and focuses his research on sustainable agriculture to improve economically important, but under-researched crops for the developing world. 



Exploring the tools of nature with plant biotechnology - Prof. Peggy Ozias-akins

19 May 2018
Our eighth story features a professor in agriculture and environmental sciences. Her horticulture research focuses on molecular tools to better understand and develop crop improvement. Thus, we asked her about the techniques she relies on for her research as well as the possible benefits biotechnology can have for consumers with allergies.



Plant Breeding innovations as a way to solve future challenges for the european agricultural sector - mr. thor gunnar kofoed

19 April 2018
Our seventh story is a contribution from an agricultural stakeholder. We wanted to find out how innovation can help farmers in the future and asked about the current European legal frameworks' influence on research and development. 




11  December 2017
Our sixth story comes from a retailer. At first sight, retail and plant biotech do not appear to have much in common. Yet, let’s ask the question: Is plant biotech important for retailers and consumers? This is what we asked Mr. Said Belhassan, Director of Fruits & Vegetables at the Dutch retail Store Albert Heijn.





23 October 2017
Our fifth elaborates on the connection between heatlh and plant breeding. What is the link between our food and a healthy life? This is what we asked Dr. Vincenzo Costigliola, President of the European Medical Association (EMA).



How can organic Farmers benefit from Plant Breeding Innovation - Mr. René Custers

15 September  2017
Our fourth story looks into the case of late blight, a particular type of fungi that severly affects potato crops. Recent field trials have shown the efficacy of late blight–resistant potatoes. Such variety would not only be environmentally beneficial, but it would strongly reduce the need for fungicide sprays. Therefore why is the organic sector not interested in such variety? How can organic farmers benefit from plant breeding innovation? This is what we asked Mr. René Custers, Regulatory & Responsible Research Manager at the Flanders Institute for Biotechnology.



The role of plant breeding in forestry - Mr. Magnus Hertzberg

05 August 2017
Our third story brings us in the realm of forestry. Forestry is the science of creating, managing, using, conserving, and repairing forests for human and environmental benefits. But what is the connection between plant biotech and the development of forestry? This is what we asked Mr. Magnus Hertzberg, Chief Scientific Officer at SweTree Technologies.



Genetic Therapies and the main trends in Haematology - Dr. marina cavazzana

27 June 2017
Our second story focuses on gene therapies and on the recent scientific breakthroughs that makes them so promising for the medical sector. But are new biotechnologies important for patients too? This is what we asked Dr. Marina Cavazzana, Head of the Department of Biotherapy at the Necker Hospital, Paris.





21 May 2017
Our first story brings us to Andalusia, in the south of Spain, where droughts are severe and farmers need crops able to make a more efficient use of water while keeping the same level of yield. But how can farmers deal with such situation? This is what we asked Mr.  Pedro Gallardo, President of the Spanish Association of Young Farmers.