‘Product versus process’ focus of GE crop regulation debate stalls biotech progress

GMO and non-GMO corn varieties.

[Editor’s note: Jennifer Kuzma is a professor and co-director of the Genetic Engineering and Society Center at North Carolina State University.]

One issue that has dominated the debate [over genetic engineering] is whether the focus of regulation should be the process by which GE organisms are made or the GE products themselves (the living organisms or products derived from them).

[F]raming the debate around ‘product versus process’ is neither logical nor scientific. It is stalling productive dialogue on the development of appropriate oversight in the face of rapid advances in GE.

It is time to reset the debate. Product-versus-process arguments reflect world views about the desired level of regulation for GE organisms. These underlying viewpoints should be made explicit, and the idea that product-based regulation is the only science-based approach rejected.

There is a chance to start over, in the United States and elsewhere. In part because of advances in gene editing and a greater diversity of GE organisms being presented to regulators….

Within these efforts and others, stakeholders could do away with polarizing product-versus-process and science-versus-values framings, and help to establish a governance system that is both informed by the science and guided by the concerns and values of citizens.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: Policy: Reboot the debate on genetic engineering

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