New Zealand’s Royal Society calls for updated CRISPR rules to accommodate gene-editing innovation

| August 13, 2019
nanotubes x
Credit: UC Berkeley graphic by Ella Marushchenko
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

Genetic technologies such as gene editing are developing quickly and their cost is rapidly falling. This is creating new approaches in health care, environmental management and food production, which have reached a point that challenges existing legal, regulatory and risk assessment systems, with some applications raising ethical concerns around the world.

New Zealand needs to ensure that its regulatory framework is able to accommodate these technological developments, while protecting our unique environment and indigenous and cultural heritage.

Without regulatory reassessment, New Zealand risks being unprepared for both the new technologies’ benefits, and the risks and challenges they bring. As a global citizen, New Zealand also has an ethical obligation to share and contribute to global knowledge and understanding of the opportunities and risks that using these technologies present.

Related article:  More science education may not quell consumer fear of GMO, gene-edited crops, Japanese study suggests

New Zealand cannot leave this to other nations. Other countries and regions, such as USA, Europe, Australia and Japan, are currently reviewing their regulatory systems to ensure they keep pace with technological change and provide an appropriate level of oversight.

Alongside this, New Zealand industries, research communities, as well as local and central government, need to work together to raise awareness and assist New Zealand’s diverse communities to understand the real risks and opportunities these new technologies bring, in order to inform any changes …. [T]he Panel has examined the current New Zealand legal and regulatory environment, informed by its analysis of, and stakeholder reaction to, a range of scenarios demonstrating possible future applications of gene editing techniques.


Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
Talking Biotech
Genetics Unzipped
sperm swim

Video: Sperm are ‘spinners not swimmers’—because they are lopsided

Research by fertility scientists in the UK and Mexico challenges the accepted view of how sperm “swim”, suggesting that it ...
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 ...
breastfeeding bed x facebook x

Infographic: We know breastfeeding helps children. Now we know it helps mothers too

When a woman becomes pregnant, her risk of type 2 diabetes increases for the rest of her life, perhaps because ...
biotechnology worker x

Can GMOs rescue threatened plants and crops?

Some scientists and ecologists argue that humans are in the midst of an "extinction crisis" — the sixth wave of ...
food globe x

Are GMOs necessary to feed the world?

Experts estimate that agricultural production needs to roughly double in the coming decades. How can that be achieved? ...
eating gmo corn on the cob x

Are GMOs safe?

In 2015, 15 scientists and activists issued a statement, "No Scientific consensus on GMO safety," in the journal Environmental Sciences ...
Screen Shot at PM

Charles Benbrook: Agricultural economist and consultant for the organic industry and anti-biotechnology advocacy groups

Independent scientists rip Benbrook's co-authored commentary in New England Journal calling for reassessment of dangers of all GMO crops and herbicides ...
Screen Shot at PM

ETC Group: ‘Extreme’ biotechnology critic campaigns against synthetic biology and other forms of ‘extreme genetic engineering’

The ETC Group is an international environmental non-governmental organization (NGO) based in Canada whose stated purpose is to monitor "the impact of emerging technologies and ...
Share via
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend