UK launches consultation that could roll back restrictive CRISPR crop rules, unlock ‘substantial benefits’

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In one of its first post-Brexit moves, England has launched a consultation on gene editing in a bid to unlock “substantial benefits” for the sector and the environment, but the move could put the country at odds with the EU on the matter.

The consultation, confirmed by the UK Environment Secretary George Eustice at the Oxford Farming Conference on [January 7], will focus on preventing gene-editing (GE) organisms from being regulated in the same way as genetically modified (GM) crops, according to a statement released by the UK government.

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This could result in a significant divergence from the EU position on the matter and would see the country align itself instead with others such as Japan, Australia and Argentina, who have all adopted a similar approach to GE crops.

Related article:  EU needs new guidelines to evaluate environmental impact of gene-drive mosquitoes, food safety officials say

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