Cross-party proposal aims ‘to liberate’ UK biotech sector from EU agricultural gene-editing rules

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A cross-party group of MPs and Lords have called for …. ditching EU rules which block the access to precision breeding tools.

Amendments to the Agriculture Bill have been put forward which would provide new powers for ministers to make changes to the UK Environmental Protection Act.

The move would give the UK’s scientists, farmers, plant breeders and animal breeders the same access to new gene editing technologies as countries outside the EU have.

The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Science and Technology in Agriculture …. has taken an interest in prospects for advanced gene editing techniques such as CRISPR-Cas9 to deliver improvements in the speed and precision of crop and livestock breeding.

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However, in July 2018 the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) ruled that these new precision breeding tools should be regulated as GMOs, putting the EU at odds with the US, Australia and Japan.

Ministers have indicated their disagreement with the CJEU ruling …. APPG chair Julian Sturdy MP said the proposed amendments to the Agriculture Bill would ‘liberate’ the UK’s bioscience sector.

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