Europe debating how to regulate emerging genome editing technology

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis.

EU policymakers are about to embark on a process which will go a long way to shaping the future of plant breeding in Europe – and whether EU farmers will be able to benefit from an emerging new technology.

After years of contemplation, the European Commission is expected to publish soon, possibly by the end of October, its opinion on how the relatively new technology, genome editing, should be classified and regulated.

This will kick-start a process which will eventually determine whether crops created by the technology, or at least strands of it, should be classified as genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

Genome editing involves inserting pieces of DNA, known as ‘molecular scissors’ into a host plant to cut and alter the genome of the host plant. In its simplest form, the technology deletes or alters existing genes without introducing new DNA.

Prof Huw Jones, of Rothamsted Research, Hertfordshire, said genome editing had the potential to revolutionise plant breeding in Europe, but only if policymakers treat it fairly.

He said: “If it is seen as a non-GMO, it will streamline the approval process and could change how plant breeding is done.

“If it is seen as a GMO…All the subsequent negativity surrounding GM would effectively prevent them being used in Europe.”

Penny Maplestone, chief executive of the British Society of Plant Breeders, said: “How the technology develops from here is completely dependent on what happens in the regulatory world.

The environmental lobby sees things differently. Various non-Governmental organisations have already joined forces to oppose the new technology and demand it is regulated as GM.

Read full, original post: GM or not GM? Why key decisions on new technology will shape EU plant breeding

Outbreak
Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
Talking Biotech
Genetics Unzipped
Video: Test everyone – Slovakia goes its own way to control COVID

Video: Test everyone – Slovakia goes its own way to control COVID

As Europe sees record coronavirus cases and deaths, Slovakia is testing its entire adult population. WSJ's Drew Hinshaw explains how ...
mag insects image superjumbo v

Disaster interrupted: Which farming system better preserves insect populations: Organic or conventional?

A three-year run of fragmentary Armageddon-like studies had primed the journalism pumps and settled the media framing about the future ...
dead bee desolate city

Are we facing an ‘Insect Apocalypse’ caused by ‘intensive, industrial’ farming and agricultural chemicals? The media say yes; Science says ‘no’

The media call it the “Insect Apocalypse”. In the past three years, the phrase has become an accepted truth of ...
globalmethanebudget globalcarbonproject cropped x

Infographic: Cows cause climate change? Agriculture scientist says ‘belching bovines’ get too much blame

A recent interview by Caroline Stocks, a UK journalist who writes about food, agriculture and the environment, of air quality ...
organic hillside sweet corn x

Organic v conventional using GMOs: Which is the more sustainable farming?

Many consumers spend more for organic food to avoid genetically modified products in part because they believe that “industrial agriculture” ...
benjamin franklin x

Are most GMO safety studies funded by industry?

The assertion that biotech companies do the research and the government just signs off on it is false ...
favicon

Environmental Working Group: EWG challenges safety of GMOs, food pesticide residues

Known by some as the "Environmental Worrying Group," EWG lobbies for tighter GMO legislation and famously puts out annual "dirty dozen" list of fruits and ...
m hansen

Michael Hansen: Architect of Consumers Union ongoing anti-GMO campaign

Michael K. Hansen (born 1956) is thought by critics to be the prime mover behind the ongoing campaign against agricultural biotechnology at Consumer Reports. He is an ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend