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Leading Scientists and Politicians Welcome Defra Gene Editing Consultation
Posted by: Prof. Dr. M. Raupp (IP Logged)
Date: February 17, 2021 01:23AM

Leading scientists and cross-party politicians in the United Kingdom
welcome the long-awaited consultation led by Defra on plans to regulate
the products of precision breeding techniquesin the same way as
conventional breedingmethods, rather than as GMOs. The group highlights
the potential opportunities of these advances to support more
sustainable farming and food production systems.

In the press release issued by the British Society of Plant Breeders,
Julian Sturdy MP, chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Science
and Technology in Agriculture, hailed the Defra consultation as a
watershed moment for genetic research and innovation, paving the way to
bring rules in line with other countries around the world. Hon. Sturdy
said, "We share the Government's disagreement with the July 2018
European Court ruling classifying new gene editing techniques as GM,
which put us out of step with how these techniques are regulated in
other parts of the world, such as Australia, Japan, Argentina, the US,
and Brazil."

Professor Johnathan Napier, Flagship Leader at Rothamsted Research,
said, "This consultation sends an important message that the UK's
bioscience sector is open for business, and equipped to meet the many
challenges facing agriculture using new technology." He also said that
early benefits of gene editing for UK agriculture could include
gluten-free wheat, oilseeds with heart-healthy fats, disease-resistant
sugar beets, and healthier potatoes. "Gene editing can also help
accelerate the improvement of orphan crops like cassava, millet, cowpea,
and yams, which are critical to food security in less developed parts of
the world," he added.

APPGSTA_Press_Release_DEFRA_gene_editing_consultation.pdf (

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