UK aquaculture researchers welcome Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s pro-GMO, CRISPR stance as Brexit proceeds

| | August 14, 2019
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This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

Some of the most progressive researchers in the UK’s aquaculture biotechnology sphere have welcomed Boris Johnson’s pledge to support the production of genetically modified crops.

The new Prime Minister announced plans [in July] “to liberate the UK’s extraordinary bio-science sector from anti-genetic modification rules and… develop the blight-resistant crops that will feed the world.”

As Professor Ross Houston, who is currently engaged in a number of gene editing projects to improve resistance to diseases in salmon at the Roslin Institute, told The Fish Site:

I think the EU’s blanket ban on genetic modification, and in particular genome editing technologies, is likely to stifle innovation using these technologies aiming to provide solutions to production issues in aquaculture. For example, improving resistance of animals to infectious diseases via genome editing could have multiple benefits ….

Professor Johnathan Napier, who has been involved in developing camelina that has been genetically modified to contain the long chain omega-3s EPA and DHA – key ingredients in feeds for species such as salmon – agrees.

Related article:  South Korea develops 13 GMO crops in 7 years to battle drought, pests

“It was encouraging to see supportive words from our new PM regarding GM, and it is interesting that this technology is clearly at the front of this mind when it comes to what the UK can possibly do differently ….

Read full, original article: PM’s GM pledge welcomed by the aquaculture biotech sector

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