EUROPEAN-SEED.COM I EUROPEAN SEED I 27 Matthew de Roode to the ease of application and the good taste profile. As such both inulin and oligofructose contribute to a healthier lifestyle. However, the obesity epidemic is the result of a complex combi- nation of different effects and is not so easy to attribute to only sugar and fat reduction. MdR: Any 2-year-old is playing with mobile devices instead of toys or dolls and the general public embraces a lot of (small scale) initiatives in food production, so I do not agree that there is a growing opposition against innovation. A growing trend that is clearly visible is the desire for healthy food and more information about how our food is produced. People just want to know where their food is coming from, so I see that as an open invitation to us to give that information as a company. Education on how our food is made and why certain choices are made when producing food on a large scale is the first step in acceptance of the methods that we use. ES: HOW WILL THE PRIVATE BREEDING SECTOR BE INVOLVED IN THE CHIC PROJECT? MdR: One of the project partners in the CHIC project is Keygene, serving as a private breeding partner. In addition, several stake- holders like the European Seed Association are represented in the stakeholder advisory group. ES: DO YOU EXPECT THAT THE OUTCOME CAN BE TRANSLATED TO OTHER CROPS? MdR: Although this is not my expertise, I have seen several examples of new plant breeding techniques in other crops in the literature. So, initially I think that chicory can benefit from the experience in other crops. After this project, of course new learnings can be applied in other crops. Chicory is a healthy, robust and multipurpose crop that doesn’t have high needs like nutrients and can produce different health related ingredients. ES: THE PROJECT PLANS ON USING NEW PLANT BREEDING TECHNIQUES. HOWEVER, THE ECJ RECENTLY RULED THAT SUCH TECHNIQUES SHOULD BE REGULATED AS GMO’S. ISN’T THAT A DRAWBACK FOR THE PROJECT? MdR: The research itself can still continue, but indeed this ruling can have a detrimental effect if we want to implement the potential results of this project. On the other hand, the CHIC projects will also explore the health potential of different ingre- dients from the chicory root which will show the multipurpose potential of this crop, regardless of the breeding technique. ES: SOME SAY THERE IS A GROWING OPPOSITION AGAINST INNOVATION, INCLUDING IN AGRICULTURE AND THE SEED SECTOR.