Study Concludes Risk and Unnaturalness Cannot Justify EU's Strict GMO PolicyMay 2, 2019
In an article in Transgenic Research, three researchers from the University of Copenhagen and the Technical University of Denmark argue that risk and unnaturalness of GMO plants cannot justify the restrictive regulation of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in the European Union (EU). The researchers state that EU regulation may stand in the way of important agricultural innovation that could provide more sustainable and climate-friendly solutions.
Andreas Christiansen from the University of Copenhagen said that the introduction of new varieties with compositional differences always poses a risk whether they are genetically modified or not. The authors emphasize that GMO crops should not be treated differently than similar products when the risks they pose to the environment and people are comparable.
Addressing the concern of unnaturalness, Christiansen said that it is a common argument against GMO crops and foods, and it is mentioned specifically in EU legislation. The researchers are trying to ascertain whether the kind of "unnaturalness" which GMO's supposedly possess can justify bans and restrictive legislation. They point out that GMOs are unnatural in the sense that it has been subjected to at least one more change than the conventionally bred plant upon which it is based. However, the conventionally bred plant is much more unnatural than its wild ancestor, and has mutated so many times that it may in some cases be difficult to see any relation between to two.
"It is, in other words, really difficult to construct a solid argument to the effect that the distinction between natural and unnatural can warrant stricter regulation of GMO's – even if we consider the best philosophical arguments for the value of nature and naturalness," Christiansen adds.
For more details, read the article in the University of Copenhagen website.
The Crop Biotech Update is a weekly newsletter of ISAAA, a non-for-profit organization. The CBU is distributed for free to over 23,000 subscribers worldwide to inform them about the key developments in biosciences, especially in agricultural biotechnology. Your support will help us in our mission to feed the world with knowledge. You can help by donating as little as $10.
See more articles:
News from Around the World
- New ISAAA Global Coordinator
- Kenyans Embrace Dialogue on Genetically Modified Crops
- Wild Tomato Gene Key to Creating Pest-Resistant Tomatoes
- 'Exotic' Genes to Help Improve Cotton Yield and Quality
- U.S. FDA Approves Arctic® Fuji Apple
- Surge in Adoption of Hybrid and Biotech Crops Boost Indian Seed Market
- 22 European Business Organizations Call for Pro-Innovation Plant Breeding Rules in the EU
- Study Concludes Risk and Unnaturalness Cannot Justify EU's Strict GMO Policy
- The Ethics Council of Denmark: It's Time for New Debate on GM Plants
- Scientists Investigate Anthocyanin Biosynthesis in Black Goji Berry
Plant Breeding Innovations
- Australia Updates Gene Technology Regulations; Will Not Regulate Gene Editing in Plants Without New Genetic Material
- Mutagenesis of FAD2 Genes in Peanut with CRISPR-Cas9 Based Gene Editing
- Experts Develop a Haploid-Inducer Mediated Genome Editing System for Faster Maize Breeding
From the BICs
- International Conference on Microbes for Sustainable Agriculture Held in Lahore, Pakistan
Subscribe to CBU: