Why scientific arguments won’t end Europe’s opposition to CRISPR-edited crops

| | April 15, 2019
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

John van der Oost….is a microbiologist at Wageningen University in the Netherlands. His research in the late 1990s contributed to the development of the CRISPR Cas9 gene editing technology which….has the potential to produce climate-resilient crops to curing genetic diseases in humans….And he’s furious about a ruling from the European Court of Justice (ECJ) last year that he and other proponents of gene editing say will dramatically slow Europe’s innovation in the field of crop science.

Others counter that there is a political undercurrent that influenced the ECJ’s decision….

“Why the E.U. has been cautious is part of a wider historical narrative that dates back to the 1990s, when the debate about GMO crops and foods became a very contentious political issue….” explains social scientist Phil Macnaghten, who is part of Wageningen University’s Knowledge, Technology and Innovation group. 

Related article:  Genetic engineering is changing our food. An expert explains everything you should know

The evolution of the science of GMOs, and how that translated into practical application by the large agrochemical companies, influences how society thinks about modern gene editing technology….Too little attention was given to local cultural, political, and economic factors when the GMO crops were developed and deployed.

Read full, original article: Europe’s Gene Editing Regulation Exposes the Messy Relationship Between Science and Politics

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