US regulators have ruled crops altered using gene-editing techniques do not need to come under the same restrictions as genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
Although there has not yet been a decision taken on the issue in Europe, scientists in the UK have greeted the US department of agriculture’s (USDA) move with relief.
Ahead of the ruling, UK researchers here had been concerned the USDA would place gene editing within the same lengthy regulatory process as GMOs.
And they feared such a move would sway the EU Commission towards adopting a similar stance.
Now though there is renewed optimism, especially after the European Court of Justice suggested in January that the simpler gene-editing technology was different to full modification.
Huw Dylan Jones of Aberystwyth University said GMO research had been frustrated for years by regulatory constraints and dogged by a negative association with the public.
“The USDA decision sends a clear and positive message to the EU that gene editing should be treated differently,” Professor Dylan Jones said.
Read full, original post: Scientists hope US gene editing decision sets precedent