Genome-editing in plants & animals used in food production: some technical, socio-economic and legal aspects

Hearing on “New Techniques for Plant Breeding”- Committee on Agricultural and Rural Development of the European Parliament, 1 December 2015

1 December 2015 There has been much debate for several years now on new methods of genetic engineering that can be collectively termed “genome-editing”, and used for plants and animals in food production. As two recently published legal dossiers show, these techniques are definitely covered by EU Directive 2001/18. If the new techniques were to be exempted from regulation, all plants and animals derived from them could enter the market without risk assessment and labelling, thus undermining the protection goals of EU regulation.

German authorities biased in their assessment of new methods of genetic engineering

Testbiotech analysis of the decision-making process regarding CIBUS

25 November 2015 / Today, the BUND Naturschutz, Umweltinstitut Munich and Testbiotech in a media conference are demanding a change in German politics regarding new methods of genetic engineering. They are urging the Christian Social Union party in Bavaria (CSU), which is part of the German coalition government, to take action in preventing plants produced by new methods of genetic engineering from being cultivated and used in food production without any prior risk assessment or labelling.

Genetically engineered salmon on their way to US supermarkets

US company Intrexon also engaged in marketing cloned bulls and genetically engineered insects

20 November 2015 / The US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has cleared the way for the first genetically altered animals to reach American supermarkets. The salmon are engineered to grow much faster than normal through enhanced growth hormone production. This reduces both the time needed to raise the fish and feeding costs. A Canadian company acquired by Intrexon some years ago, will be raising the salmon. Intrexon is also actively engaged in marketing cloned bulls and genetically engineered insects. In Europe, Intrexon is known for its patents on genetically engineered chimpanzees.


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