New GE: How to assess the environmental risks?

Scientific publication identifies important cornerstones

9 July 2021 / Experts from environmental authorities in Austria, Germany, Italy, Poland and Switzerland have published a new scientific paper that, for the first time, defines some important initial cornerstones in the environmental risk assessment of plants altered with new genomic techniques (i.e. ‘New GE’ or ‘genome editing’). The authors show that there can be no justification for only risk assessing plants with additionally inserted genes or with extensive genomic changes. Rather, all plants derived from New GE must be subjected to mandatory risk assessment.

EU Parliament: Majority against further approvals for import of genetically engineered plants

Gaps in European Food Safety Authority EFSA risk assessment exposed

7 July 2021 / The EU Parliament has again voted with a large majority against further approvals for the import of genetically engineered plants. The resolutions concern genetically engineered maize and soybeans that are resistant to insecticides and several herbicides, such as glyphosate and glufosinate. The resolutions also heavily criticise deficiencies in European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) risk assessment.

Increasing number of patents on food plants and New GE

Interest in patents is also impacting public debate

25 June 2021 / Testbiotech is today publishing a new report showing the increasing number of patent applications being filed and granted in Europe on so-called gene scissors (new genetic engineering, New GE). The patent landscape is dominated by the ‘Corteva group’ which resulted from a merger of Dow AgroSciences and DuPont/Pioneer. Apart from its own patents, Corteva controls access to many other patents needed by breeders who want to use CRISPR/Cas technology.

Fourth FGU video: CRISPR/Cas – inherent risks

The Project Genetic Engineering and the Environment explains why the risks need to be examined in detail

18 June 2021 / The Project Genetic Engineering and the Environment (FGU) is today publishing its fourth explainer video on CRISPR/Cas gene scissors. The basics of the technology, its possibilities and risks are presented in a series of four videos in total. They focus, in particular, on explaining gene scissor applications in plants. The FGU explainer videos aim to encourage and support informed public dialogue on new genetic engineering methods, including their potentials and risks.


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