abc statement on the publication of the Government’s response to the consultation on the future regulation
abc welcomes the publication of the Government’s response to the consultation on the future regulation of plant breeding techniques. It was right that the Government listened to the views of all involved before making a decision on future policy, and we were delighted to hear the number of responses received.
We are pleased to see the numerous benefits of gene editing technologies recognised and reflected in the submissions to this consultation, including from scientists, farmers and others experts. Gene editing has the potential to help us tackle climate change, food insecurity and enable the farming sector to thrive, all whilst maintaining the highest levels of environmental and consumer safety. Recent polling commissioned by abc revealed that 81% of Britons agree farmers should be able to benefit from innovations that could help them play their full role in meeting the UK’s climate change ambition of reaching ‘net zero’ by 2050, and 57% of those surveyed supported making food production a more sustainable process through the use of more innovative farming techniques and methodologies.
It is clear that there is public support behind these technologies, so it is fantastic to see the Government signal their intent to take a new approach to plant breeding. Post-Brexit, the UK now has the opportunity to re-join the mainstream of global agricultural innovation and adopt the science-based regulatory approaches taken by countries like Canada and Australia. We look forward to continuing to engage with Government on this important issue as they develop the regulation of the future.