Could Brexit mean CRISPR? EU departure presents the UK with a food policy overhaul opportunity

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Brexit could present the UK with a unique opportunity to modernize its food regulations, but it should tread carefully in order to remain compliant with EU standards, or risk alienating its own GMO skeptical domestic consumer market. This is according to Dr. Elinor McCartney, President of Pen & Tec Consulting Group….

“There is an opportunity for the UK, if Brexit does go ahead, to overhaul their GMO legislation to allow modern biotechnology to take a more modern approach to safety in the food chain,” the Spanish-based policy advisor notes as an example. “The two difficulties that this presents relate to how they would trade with the EU, which has different GMO legislation and how UK consumers, who tend to be the same as other EU consumers in their attitudes to GM crops, would respond” she adds.

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Things are unlikely to change quickly, however. “If the UK were to leave the EU and get around to changing their food legislation, I think they would have to be very careful. They would have to bear in mind that the EU is their largest trading partner, so which parts will they change? The UK consumers might not be any more willing to accept GM technology than your average EU consumer in the first place,” she notes.

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