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It appears the European Union is becoming more opposed to any form of agricultural technology, says Maurice Moloney of the Global Institute for Food Security in Saskatoon, but if it creates strict regulations for genome editing, a technique promoted as the future of crop trait development, the continent is truly entering a dark age for biotech.
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The EU has to make a decision on CRISPR/Cas9, a technique used in genome editing to modify plant genes. Plant scientists say CRISPR is comparable to mutagenesis, in which a plant’s DNA is randomly altered with chemicals.
“Genome editing, by it’s very nature, is a technique (that is) very elegant mutagenesis,” Moloney said.
“Mutagenesis is not regulated in the European Union.”
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Moloney said European opposition to crop biotech is problematic for Canadian farmers and may compromise the Canada-EU trade deal. The agreement is supposed to increase exports of Canadian agricultural products, but European regulations could thwart that opportunity.
Read full, original post: EU’s trade future hinges on genome editing