Farmers attend CRISPR technology conference for ‘seat at the table’

U.S. farmers are among those attending CRISPERcon at Wageningen University in the Netherlands. U.S. farm and commodity groups are attending the conference to make sure agriculture has a seat at the table to discuss gene editing, according to Keith Tapp, chairman of the United Soybean Board and a Western Kentucky farmer.

“This is one tool that we need to meet the enduser needs and to ensure long-term profitability,” Tapp told Brownfield Ag News from the conference.

CRISPR technology provides the ability to make precise edits to cell DNA allowing the transformation of food, health and ecological systems.

“New plant breeding innovation methods are one of the key priorities we’re looking at here, including gene editing,” said Tapp, “which can allow farmers to grow more crops with fewer resources, which is ideal for profitability and feeding a growing population.”

CRISPRcon participants include scientists and gene editing technology investors who address questions about the risks, benefits and ethics of CRISPR. Along with the United Soybean Board are representatives of the National Corn Growers Association, the American Farm Bureau Federation and National Pork Board.

AUDIO: Keith Tapp

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