CFI Forms Coalition for Responsible Gene Editing

Kelly MarshallAg Group, Genetics

CFIThe Center for Food Integrity (CFI) is working to create the Coalition for Responsible Gene Editing in Agriculture. The organization will comprise a diverse group of stakeholders committed to growing public trust in the field of agriculture and food production.

“Without a doubt, gene editing is one of the transformational innovations of the decade and has tremendous potential to benefit society and agriculture,” said Terry Fleck, executive director of CFI.

Science Magazine referred to a specific gene editing technology as the 2015 Breakthrough of the Year, and the MIT Technology Review listed it as one of its “10 Innovations That Could Change the World.” The technology has the potential to improve animal health and well-being through resistance to disease, reduction of the need for painful procedures, and development of desirable traits. Gene editing can also be used to increase agriculture’s productivity and help sustainably meet the demands of a growing global population, said Fleck.

“The new coalition will consider key steps to ensure the responsible use of the technology that earns consumer trust. The goals of the coalition include developing stewardship guidelines, engaging stakeholders and involving a broad-base of those engaged in gene editing,” Fleck said. These efforts will be guided by core values that address food safety, sustainability, environmental impact, animal well-being, transparency, science, economic viability, consumer trust and respectful collaboration. “While there has been limited consumer or food system discussion to date, transparency and responsible practices will be critical to earn trust in this important technology.”

CFI will continue their tradition of leadership by recruiting industry members involved in academia, plant and animal genetic companies, agriculture and food system stakeholders and NGOs focused on the public interest. To learn more about the coalition or learn how to become involved contact J.J. Jones, (816) 556-3131 or