Dr. Ray Dobert
Senior Policy Manager
Bayer Crop Science
Area of Expertise
Ray is a plant physiologist and molecular biologist who specializes in biotech and new technology regulatory policy issues. He works closely with others in the seed industry to help shape the policy landscape for innovation in agricultural biotech products.
Ray’s path to building a career in agriculture began during his formative years as an undergraduate student. His coursework took him to Kenya for a semester, where he recognized the importance of improving agriculture to feed people and help protect the environment. It was then that he knew he wanted to pursue a career in making agricultural production more sustainable.
Education: Ph.D., Agronomy/Plant Physiology, University of Missouri
Affiliations: American Seed Trade Association, Biotechnology Innovation Organization, America Soc. Plant Biologists.
Plant Genome Editing and the Relevance of Off-Target Changes
Humans have a long history of developing crops with improved characteristics to benefit farmers and consumers. Using selecting breeding and—more recently—gene editing, plant breeders are better able to produce plants with these beneficial traits. As with any plant breeding technique, gene editing has a small potential to generate unintended genetic changes. This paper reviews many studies and puts the prevalence of off-target genetic changes relative to those arising from other breeding practices. The scientists conclude that off-target changes in gene edited crops present no new safety concerns compared to unintended genetic changes that occur using other breeding techniques.
In the News