Genetically Modified Organisms: The UK will relax its rules

On Wednesday, the British government announced that it was ready to relax the rules again “Genetically Modified Organisms” (Crops and livestock). A public consultation conducted last year indicated that 87% of respondents had concerns about the technique.

These are mutated organisms, especially those using CRISPR (cf. Japan: various “CRISPR tomatoes” marketed). A different technique, called “classic” GMOs, introduces foreign DNA into a plant’s genome.

According to European law, organisms modified by this technique fall under GMO regulations (cf. EU: A separate structure for “new GMOs”?). But the UK’s exit from the European Union allows it to establish its own rules in the region. First, the government “Cut the red tape and change the rules on genetic editing to facilitate research and development.” It then excludes genetically modified organisms from the definition of genetically modified organisms. The ultimate goal is to commercialize these “new GMOs”.

Source: AFP (29/09/2021); New Scientist, Adam Vaughan (28/09/2021)

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