Should Europe’s 17-year-old GMO regulations apply to CRISPR-edited crops?

plant

Dutch Agriculture Minister Carola Schouten said recently that CRISPR gene editing is indispensable for making agriculture more sustainable. Using this new technology, scientists can modify the DNA of all kinds of organisms relatively easily.

In October last year, [the government said] “the Netherlands will commit itself in Europe to the application and admission of new breeding techniques” including CRISPR …. But this summer …. the European Court of Justice ruled on 25 July that [crop] varieties made with CRISPR technology fall under the European regulations for genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

The [government argued that the EU should] make an exception CRISPR-based techniques in European GMO legislation …. The Dutch government said that the CRISPR-Cas techniques are comparable to traditional plant breeding, but are much more precise. This means that breeders have more control over the end result and the process is therefore inherently safer than classical mutagenesis.

Related article:  Video: Meet the gene-edited cows that could revolutionize beef production

The question is whether the [2001 GMO] legislation still suffices with the arrival of new technologies with far greater possibilities and a different level of risk. A revision of the European GMO legislation is urgently needed …. It is not the technique that should determine whether or not there is a license obligation for genetically modified crops, but the properties of the end product ….

[Editor’s note: This article was originally published in Dutch. This summary was prepared with Google Translate and edited for clarity.]

Read full, original article: Get the crisis in the greenhouse

Outbreak
Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
Talking Biotech
Genetics Unzipped
Video: Test everyone – Slovakia goes its own way to control COVID

Video: Test everyone – Slovakia goes its own way to control COVID

As Europe sees record coronavirus cases and deaths, Slovakia is testing its entire adult population. WSJ's Drew Hinshaw explains how ...
mag insects image superjumbo v

Disaster interrupted: Which farming system better preserves insect populations: Organic or conventional?

A three-year run of fragmentary Armageddon-like studies had primed the journalism pumps and settled the media framing about the future ...
dead bee desolate city

Are we facing an ‘Insect Apocalypse’ caused by ‘intensive, industrial’ farming and agricultural chemicals? The media say yes; Science says ‘no’

The media call it the “Insect Apocalypse”. In the past three years, the phrase has become an accepted truth of ...
globalmethanebudget globalcarbonproject cropped x

Infographic: Cows cause climate change? Agriculture scientist says ‘belching bovines’ get too much blame

A recent interview by Caroline Stocks, a UK journalist who writes about food, agriculture and the environment, of air quality ...
organic hillside sweet corn x

Organic v conventional using GMOs: Which is the more sustainable farming?

Many consumers spend more for organic food to avoid genetically modified products in part because they believe that “industrial agriculture” ...
benjamin franklin x

Are most GMO safety studies funded by industry?

The assertion that biotech companies do the research and the government just signs off on it is false ...
favicon

Environmental Working Group: EWG challenges safety of GMOs, food pesticide residues

Known by some as the "Environmental Worrying Group," EWG lobbies for tighter GMO legislation and famously puts out annual "dirty dozen" list of fruits and ...
m hansen

Michael Hansen: Architect of Consumers Union ongoing anti-GMO campaign

Michael K. Hansen (born 1956) is thought by critics to be the prime mover behind the ongoing campaign against agricultural biotechnology at Consumer Reports. He is an ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend