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Uganda ponders gene-edited crops to avoid restrictive GMO regulations

| | August 1, 2017
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This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

Scientists globally… are engaged in plant breeding using genetic modification methods where a gene from a different plant is identified for disease resistance, drought tolerance and nutrition among others and transferred to the plant of interest.

For farmers to access the end result there has to be a law in place for release of such crop variety known as GMO’s.

However, scientists are now applying new technologies which may not require laws for farmers to access the crops and these include use of application of synthetic biology involving gene editing and use of gene drives.

In contrast to random mutation of the plant in search for natural gene variations in traditional breeding, genome editing is now being applied by agricultural scientists aimed at the targeted modification of plant species in a precise manner.

The [Ugandan] minister for Science, Technology and Innovations Dr Elioda Tumwesigye commended agricultural scientists in the country who are applying biotechnology to improve crop varieties for disease and pest resistance as well as for nutritional value.

[He has] called upon Ugandan legislators to ensure the Biotechnology and Biosafety Bill is passed into law to enable farmers access crops that have been bred using modern biotechnology.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. Read full, original post: Advancing from genetic modification to synthetic biology in plant breeding

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