The Project Genetic Engineering and the Environment provides explanatory videos with information on CRISPR/Cas potential and risks
12 May 2021 / The Project Genetic Engineering and the Environment (FGU) is today releasing the first in a series of videos on CRISPR/Cas gene scissors. The basics of the technology, its possibilities and risks will be presented in four videos. Especially applications of CRISPR/Cas in plants are explained. These videos aim to promote informed dialogue in civil society on the advantages and disadvantages of the new genetic engineering processes.
Testbiotech points to already existing legal flexibility
30 April 2021 / The EU Commission has published a report on new genomic techniques (New GE, genome editing) in plants and animals. They have concluded that the current EU GMO regulation should be reformed. Its fundamental goals are to promote New GE applications in agriculture and to foster international trade, technology and product development. The Commission is also demanding that decisions on market approvals should consider the potential benefits and not only the outcome of risk assessment. Safety for health and environment should nevertheless be guaranteed.
Testbiotech has filed an opposition against a patent on ‘Alzheimer-animals’. The patent (EP3066203) covers rodents and non-human primates, including great apes. The animals are genetically engineered to develop symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. The patented process causes severe suffering in the animals while, at the same time, any potential medical benefits are doubtful. The patent was granted by the European Patent Office (EPO) in 2020 to research institutions in France.
The first application for approval of CRISPR/Cas plants is now in the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) register. Maize DP915635 is resistant to the herbicide glufosinate and produces an insecticidal toxin found in specific ferns growing on trees. Pioneer (associated with DowDupont/Corteva) has also filed several patent applications for the plants, some of which have already been granted in Europe.