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EU decision nears: How will gene-edited crops be regulated?

eu farming policy
Image source: Farming Monthly National
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

We asked [Professor Jim Dunwell] about the protracted decision on regulation and what this will mean for the future of gene editing in crops.

What will the recent [EU] judicial opinion mean for scientists?

The original judgement from the Advocate General on this European Court of Justice ruling is simply a preliminary ruling and will offer some guidance as to how the judges themselves will reach a final decision. I estimate that the final judgement won’t come out until the summer.

The reaction to the interim advice from the Advocate General is quite mixed because it’s obviously a long, complex thirty-page legal document. The main conclusions were that some of the mutation processes could be excluded from the “GM regulations” There’s already an existing system in legislation made in 2001 that says that mutagenesis is a named exclusion to the GM regulations.

Do you think that’s a better approach?

I think it gives clarity, and it’s the reason why commercial investment in this type of work in the EU is being effectively withdrawn. So the large companies are still doing the work, but they’re not doing it in Europe.

Read full, original article: Regulatory Aspects Of Gene-Edited Crops: A Q&A With Jim Dunwell

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