EU could be affected by imports
21 March 2022 / The US FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has decided in favour of allowing CRIPSR/Cas cattle with short, slick coats for agricultural purposes. The shorter hair is said to let the cattle more easily withstand hot weather, and thus gain weight faster. However, the supposed advantages of the gene scissors application are questionable – and the desired characteristics can also be achieved using conventional breeding.
Another example of uncontrolled spread of genetically engineered organisms
11 March 2022 / Researchers at the Brazilian agricultural research agency, Embrapa, have found large-scale transgenic contamination of traditional maize varieties. According to the study that has been published in the journal Plants, transgenes were found in one third (34 percent) of around 1,000 samples taken in 2018/19 and 2020/21 in states in the east and northeast of the country.
EU Commission: Eggs from CRISPR/Cas hens will not be risk assessed or labelled
4 March 2022 / Eggs and laying hens originating from transgenic hens could be marketed in the EU without these having to undergo an approval process, and without being labelled. This is the conclusion that can be drawn from a letter sent by the EU Commission to the German Federal Office of Consumer Protection and Food Safety (BVL) in July 2021. The letter now was made public after a request from the German Union of Peasant Farmers (AbL).
Controversial claims amended or deleted
22 February 2022 / Following an opposition filed by Testbiotech, the European Patent Office (EPO) has amended a patent on CRISPR/Cas (EP 3401400) gene scissors. The Nobel Prize laureates, Jennifer Doudna and Emmanuelle Charpentier, are named among the inventors in the patent. The claims covering human, animal and plant cells were deleted, and intervention in the human germline explicitly excluded.