U.K. Pushes Ahead With Move to Allow Gene Editing for Crops
(Bloomberg) -- The U.K. laid out plans to push ahead with potentially allowing gene editing in farming to grow more productive crops, as part of an overhaul of agricultural policy following Brexit.
Gene editing can help develop crops that are more productive and beneficial to the environment, and leaving the European Union allows the country to “adopt a more scientific and proportionate approach” to regulations, the government said. The technique differs from conventional genetic modification in that it doesn’t introduce foreign DNA into organisms.
As a first step, Britain will ease regulations to make research and development easier, though scientists will have to notify the government of any trials. GMO rules will also still apply for any products that are authorized for market.
Gene editing “is a tool that could help us in order to tackle some of the biggest challenges that we face -- around food security, climate change and biodiversity loss,” Environment Secretary George Eustice said in a statement.
In the EU, the technique is subjected to the same restrictions as GMO, but the European Commission is planning to review that legislation.
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