Scandinavian perspectives on plant gene technology: applications, policies and progress
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Plant research and breeding has a long and successful history in the Scandinavian countries, Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden. Researchers in the region have been early in adopting plant gene technologies as they developed. This review gives a background, as well as discuss the current and future progress of plant gene technology in these four countries. Country-specific details of the regulation of genetically modified plants are described, as well as similarities and differences in the approach to regulation of novel genome-editing techniques. Also, the development of a sustainable bioeconomy may encompass the application of plant gene technology and we discuss whether or not this is reflected in current associated national strategies. In addition, country-specific information about the opinion of the public and other stakeholders on plant gene technology is presented, together with a country-wise political comparison and a discussion of the potential reciprocal influence between public opinion and the political process of policy development. The Scandinavian region is unique in several aspects, such as climate and certain agriculturally related regulations, and at the same time the region is vulnerable to changes in plant breeding investments due to the relatively small market sizes. It is therefore important to discuss the role and regulation of innovative solutions in Scandinavian plant research and breeding.