EU court ruling limiting gene editing ironically underscores safety of modified crops

VegNews Gavel

A European Union court [July 25th] issued a new decision about GMOs. Disappointingly, this decision is likely to further confuse rather than clarify this complex and contentious issue. The court announced that plants whose genomes have been modified with CRISPR technology …. are subject to the EU’s very strict restrictions on genetically modified crops.

More specifically, the Court of Justice of the European Union (ECJ) decided that:

“Organisms obtained by mutagenesis are GMOs and are, in principle, subject to the obligations laid down by the GMO Directive.”

[T]he EU court recognized that many of our foods have been genetically modified for a long time, and that it might be impractical to remove all of them from our food supply. So they carved out an exception:

“varieties [of plants] obtained by means of mutagenesis techniques which have conventionally been used in a number of applications and have a long safety record are exempt….”

What’s ironic here–though I’m confident that the EU court didn’t mean this–is that by this definition, virtually all of the GMO crops in the U.S. are exempt. You see, we’ve been eating them for decades, and they have a phenomenal safety record.

Related article:  Gene-edited crops that 'communicate with environment' could launch next green revolution

Read full, original article: EU Court Tries, But Fails, To Clarify Rules On GMOs And CRISPR

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