Post-Brexit UK likely to back crop gene editing, but won’t abandon EU’s strict GMO rules

screen shot at am

Moves to facilitate the development of gene editing once the UK is free from EU regulation at the end of the year will provide a real boost to researchers and farmers, says the British Society of Plant Breeders (BSPB).

The government is due to launch a consultation on the subject in the next few weeks, but recent comments from Defra secretary George Eustice suggest he is keen to encourage such new breeding techniques (NBT).

In a recent discussion with NFU president Minette Batters, Mr Eustice said that, when it came to conventional genetic modification (GM) – taking a gene from one plant or animal and putting it into another plant of an entirely different genus – there were still ethical and food safety concerns.

Related article:  Activists escalate efforts to stop Indian farmers from using GMO seeds
Follow the latest news and policy debates on agricultural biotech and biomedicine? Subscribe to our newsletter.

“We probably wouldn’t change the EU rules that are already there, although we would make them work in a more effective way that doesn’t allow politics to get in the way of scientific judgements,” he said.

ADVERTISEMENT

But Mr Eustice added the government was much more supportive of gene editing.

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) made an “error of judgement” in saying that gene editing – for example, taking a gene from one strain of wheat and putting it into another strain of wheat – should be treated the same as GM.

Read the original post

Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
GLP Podcasts
Infographic: Here’s where GM crops are grown around the world today

Infographic: Here’s where GM crops are grown around the world today

Do you know where biotech crops are grown in the world? This updated ISAAA infographics show where biotech crops were ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
glp menu logo outlined

Newsletter Subscription

* indicates required
Email Lists
Send this to a friend