Genetically engineered pigs could be marketed in the EU without risk assessment or labelling
19 February 2018 / New methods of genetic engineering, such as the gene scissors CRISPR/Cas, are being used to produce animals with enhanced muscle growth. These are so-called “super-muscly pigs”. Various experiments have been carried out with pigs, cattle, sheep and goats to “knock-out” the myostatin (MSTN) gene which controls muscle growth. If MSTN is disrupted, there is an abnormal proliferation of muscle cells. These experiments have been successful in some animals; and in some cases patents have been filed on the resulting pigs and cattle.
Testbiotech comments on risk assessment of FSANZ
5 February 2018 / In 2016, the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) filed an application at the Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) for the market approval of food derived from so-called Golden Rice (GR2) for import. The rice is genetically engineered to produce provitamin A carotenoids; and the rice kernels are yellowish in colour. It is intended to be a fortified food with a high content of carotenoids, in particular, beta-carotene in the grains, to help combat vitamin A deficiency (VAD) especially in developing countries.
Advocate General of EU Court of Justice faces criticism
24 January 2018 / Last week, the Advocate General of the EU Court of Justice publically declared his position on whether new methods of genetic engineering, known as gene editing, should come under EU GMO regulation. In his statement he did not address these new techniques, their applications and risks in detail. Instead, his reasoning is largely based on very general, and in some cases, outdated categories, likely to lead to considerable legal uncertainty.
Already six organisms engineered with CRISPR are allowed by USDA
18 January 2018 / The US is currently authorising more and more genetically engineered products without putting any effective controls in place; regardless of whether old or new methods of genetic engineering are used. The first genetically engineered apples appeared on US supermarket shelves in 2017. Sliced and packed in plastics, the so-called “Arctic” apples are engineered to still look fresh even if they are not. These apples were developed using earlier methods of genetic engineering. No labelling is required.