Latin America is a vast region with tremendous biodiversity as well as a growing population that needs to be fed. Yet 25 years after genetic engineering was introduced, the debate continues, with some LATAM countries imposing bans and restrictions. Now scientific innovation is taking the region on a different path. In a move to help Latin America realize its potential as a world power in food production, farmers are partnering with scientists to create new crop varieties using gene editing techniques such as CRISPR-CAS 9.In this webinar, we will have a conversation with LATAM scientists who currently are researching these new crop varieties in their laboratories. We will also discuss how existing genome editing regulation in the region will affect how quickly these crops get into the fields. Join this conversation to learn what genome editing is, which crops are being gene-edited, why LATAM is investing in new breeding techniques and who is doing the research.
Panelists include: Claudia Stange Klein, a professor in the Department of Biology of the Faculty of Sciences of the University of Chile whose research involves the use of biotechnology to improve fruit and vegetable crops; Alejandro Hernández, a research professor in genome editing and bioinformatics at TEC University in Costa Rica and regional director of biotechnology CA&C for CropLife who previously had position in government; Paul Chavarriaga, leader of CIAT’s Genetic Transformation and Genome Edition Platform, the first to produce genetically edited rice and cassava (and soon beans) in Latin America,; and Sandra Valdes, a research assistant with CIAT’s Genetic Transformation and Genome Edition Platform whose work focuses on new rice varieties. Moderator: Luis Ventura, a biologist with expertise in biosafety and 2016 Cornell Alliance for Science Global Leadership Fellow representing Mexico.