Statement on gene editing consultation
Commenting on the opening of a Defra consulation on the regulation of organisms produced using genetic technologies such as gene editing, abc members issued the following statement:
“abc welcomes the Government opening this public consultation into the proper classification and regulation of precision breeding technologies. It is right that the Environment Secretary should seek to hear from all interested parties before making an informed decision.
“Scientists and farmers are clear that the use of gene editing can help fight climate change and support the farming sector, whilst maintaining the highest levels of consumer safety and environmental protection. We intend to respond to the Government’s consultation, emphasising the need for farmers to have a suite of tools to maintain food security in the future, and reduce the environmental impact of farming, while remaining competitive. Recent YouGov polling commissioned by abc found that more than half (52%) of people surveyed supported the use of new agricultural innovations such as new plant breeding techniques including gene editing to make crops more nutritious and resistant to pests and diseases.
“The UK is already a world leader in gene editing technology, so it is critical that we seize this opportunity to realign ourselves with the science based regulatory stance of countries like Canada and Australia to realise the full benefits for UK-based R&D.”
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