As European Court ponders regulatory fate of CRISPR and other New Breeding Techniques, anti-biotechnology groups lobby for GMO-like restrictions

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Credit: Dan Volgelsong

There is a burning debate in Europe about the future of GMO regulation. The [European Court of Justice] will announce a landmark ruling on July 25. If seed companies get their way, [new breeding techniques] such as CRISPR / Cas9 could be exempted from regulation.

To protect human health and the environment, the genetic engineering regulations prescribe preventive measures. They thus follow the so-called precautionary principle: Potential damage to the environment and health should be avoided in advance.

If the [new breeding techniques] are not regulated like genetic engineering, genetically modified plants will come onto the market without risk assessment and labeling. There are then:

  • no mandatory risk assessment for humans and the environment,
  • no labeling of genetically modified products,
  • no mandatory safety measures to prevent contamination of non-GMO products,
  • and no possibility to temporarily restrict or prohibit the use of the product in case of danger to health or the environment.

 

Editor’s note: This article was originally published in German. This English summary has been prepared with Google Translate and lightly edited for clarity.

Read full, original article: Regulate new genetic engineering methods

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