Biotech Updates

Eustice: Gene-edited Crops Are Necessary

October 10, 2018

Gene-edited crops are necessary if UK is serious about trying to decrease the use of chemical pesticides, according to Department of Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs (Defra) Minister, George Eustice. He said this statement in response to the letter addressed to him by a group of scientists and industry leaders, which demanded clarity on how the UK Government's 'Chequers' Brexit plan would affect gene editing research. The letter was sent after the European Court of Justice declared that gene editing should be subject to the same regulations implemented to genetic modification.

"We disagree with the judgement the ECJ has come up with. We think gene editing and cisgenesis is largely an extension of conventional breeding techniques, the likes of which we have had for decades," said Eustice on behalf of Defra."It is already the case that GM foods are widely sold in the EU, particularly in animal feed, where they predominate, even though the EU does not allow the cultivation of crops...As a decision, it is very much a national one, not affected by the common rule book," he emphasized.

Read the original article from The Scottish Farmer.