Introduction of genome editing accelerates process of market concentration in breeding
24 June 2019 / The argument that new methods of genetic engineering are cheaper than previous techniques and could therefore be used by smaller companies, is often put forward in the debate on genome editing being introduced into breeding. However, what the proponents of this argument fail to mention is that the processes for using tools, such as CRISPR/Cas9 and plants and animals derived thereof, can all be patented.
More than 40 organisations from science, environmental protection, lobby control, food production and agriculture have today published a joint letter. They warn that the outgoing EU Commission might approve around a dozen genetically engineered plants on the basis of scientifically unacceptable risk assessment before handing over.
Outcome of German research project published in Frontiers in Plant Science
24 April 2019 /A new peer reviewed publication provides an overview of several differences between genome editing (CRISPR/Cas) and conventional plant breeding on the molecular level. It is the first scientific review specifically exploring this issue, and is the outcome of a German research project in horizon scanning of new methods in genetic engineering from the perspective of the protection of health, the environment and nature (“Fachstelle Gentechnik und Umwelt“). The publication is authored by Dr. Katharina Kawall and was published today in the Journal Frontiers in Plant Science.
But not all details of the new regulation are real improvements
17 April 2019 / The EU Parliament has adopted a “new regulation on transparency and sustainability of the EU risk assessment in the food chain”. The regulation requests industry and authorities to improve access to data with relevance for food safety and the environment. Most observers positively note that relevant data from industry must in future be registered in a publicly available database. Further, the EU Commission can now request specific investigations to resolve uncertainties and open questions regarding risk assessment.