Vandals destroy Italy’s first gene-edited rice field trial

June 25, 2024

Plant variety


European seed sector


Plant Health


Plant breeding innovation


Biodiversity and environmental protection

Euroseeds condemns the destruction of Italy’s first open field trial of gene-edited rice by vandals on June 21 in northern Italy. This trial was crucial for testing the resistance of the rice, named ‘RIS8imo,’ against fungal diseases, representing a significant advance in sustainable agriculture.

RIS8imo, developed using CRISPR technology, aimed to reduce the need for fungicides through targeted mutations. Previous lab results showed promising disease resistance.

Garlich von Essen, Secretary General & CEO of Euroseeds, criticized the vandalism as a criminal act against science and public order, highlighting its detrimental impact on plant research and the development of improved crop varieties.

Led by Vittoria Brambilla’s team at the University of Milan, this trial was the first authorized under a 2023 law that streamlined procedures for gene-edited plant trials. Euroseeds calls for swift action to support researchers and prevent future incidents, emphasizing the need to respect the freedom to conduct lawful research.