After opposition by Testbiotech: ethical boundaries could be strengthened
3 December 2021 / The European Patent Office (EPO) held discussions on a CRISPR/Cas patent (EP 3401400) from 29 November until 1 December without coming to a final decision. The Nobel Prize laureates, Jennifer Doudna and Emmanuelle Charpentier, are named among the inventors of the patent.
Hearing at the European Patent Office
25 November 2021 / The opposition division at the European Patent Office (EPO) will be considering fundamental ethical questions from 29 November until 1 December. The reason: an opposition filed by Testbiotech against a patent on CRISPR/Cas gene scissors (EP 3401400), in which the Nobel Prize laureates Jennifer Doudna and Emanuelle Charpentier are involved. Testbiotech is of the opinion that the patent does not exclude human germline interventions or the commercial usage of human embryos as required by law.
Fish with a genetic disorder approved for consumption in Japan
23 November 2021 / ‘Progress’ is going in the wrong direction in Japan: diseased CRISPR/Cas gene edited pufferfish could soon be marketed as food. The gene editing tool was used to knock out the function of genes controlling the appetite of the fish. Consequently, the fish suffer from a metabolic disorder. Their feed uptake is increased and they gain more weight compared to the natural species.
GE microbes often remain undetected
18 November 2021 / Genetically engineered (GE) bacteria are used, amongst other things, in the production of enzymes and vitamins. As an unintended consequence, genetically engineered bacteria have repeatedly found their way into the production processes of food and feed. EU member states have discovered more than a dozen such cases in last years, concerning more than 20 countries. The GE bacteria carry genes conferring antibiotic resistance which may be transferred to gut bacteria. More detailed examinations have found substantial risks to food safety.