Several Implications of EU Gene Editing Policy Especially on Coeliac DiseaseNovember 21, 2018
CD is an auto-immune reaction to gluten that happens in one to two percent of the population, and the only way to manage this disease is to have a gluten-free diet. A gluten-free diet is almost impossible for CD patients as several products contain amounts of gluten to give them viscoelastic characteristics. As wheat has a complex genome and contains many genes related to gluten production, genome editing is the most applicable method to produce gluten-free wheat. However, the EU ruling on genome editing makes it impossible for this product to penetrate the market any time soon.
The authors also touched on the inconsistency in regulating mutation breeding products, which contains more modifications in a genome compared with gene edited products but are treated similar as products produced through conventional breeding. Furthermore, since other countries like the US is not regulating gene-edited products, they do not label these products. This means that EU will not be able to detect the entry of these products in these countries, thereby disrupting the world trade system. Other regulatory tests are also not applicable in gene-editing product, such as the detection of the transgene, which GE products do not have. Lastly, the authors recommend the reconsideration of the EU ruling on GE products.
For more information, read the article in Frontiers in Plant Science.
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