Grow Scientific Progress is a citizens’ initiative looking for the EU to focus on sustainability, safety and responsible innovation when it comes to new plant breeding techniques. They are composed of a group of young Master’s students from eight EU member states who met during their studies at Wageningen University and Research. This initiative was started to foster responsible agricultural innovation in the EU. With backgrounds in food safety, food law, environmental studies, plant sciences, economics and biotechnology, they have joined forces to urge the European Commission to act to improve the outdated legislation on plant breeding in the EU.
“We founded the initiative as a group of nine Master students from eight different EU member states: Italy, Austria, Germany, Spain, Portugal, the Netherlands, Croatia and Greece. Our group has since then expanded, and we are now a group of 17 students,” explained Lavinia Scudiero, a veterinarian currently pursuing a Master’s in Food Safety Law and Regulatory Affairs. Scudiero co-founded the initiative with nine others, with the aim to implement in the EU more progressive and sustainable farming practices.
The initiative started out as a course assignment at Wageningen University and Research, where Scudiero and Martina Helmlinger, who is studying Safety in the Food Chain with a Food Law specialisation, analysed the legal debate around new plant breeding techniques after the recent EU Court of Justice ruling on mutagenesis techniques.