To expedite development of climate-resistant crops, Australia may have to relax gene-editing rules

This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

Australia’s classification of genetic modification is inhibiting the country’s potential for future crop growth, according to a University of Western Australia (UWA) researcher.

Under current legislation, a genetically modified organism (GMO) is broadly defined as an organism that has been modified by gene technology and is subject to heavy regulation.

While there are some exclusions, this generally means crops developed using new plant breeding technologies, like genomic editing, are considered GMOs.

Genomic editing has been commonly described as a way of ‘cutting and pasting’ DNA at specific sequences in a certain species.

This is as opposed to genetic modification which includes transferring genes across different species.

UWA professor of plant biology Dave Edwards said if Australia were to relax regulations on some genome-edited products, plant breeders would be able to breed and produce climate-resistant crops at a far more rapid pace.’

“[This] is inhibiting the investment in developing new costs because of the cost of taking them through the regulations.”

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: Gene editing is different to genetic modification, so should its regulation be relaxed?

For more background on the Genetic Literacy Project, read GLP on Wikipedia

Share via
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend