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Genome editing: Legal expert criticises opinion of Attorney General of the EuCJ

No clear distinction between breeding and genetic engineering
Wednesday, 28 February 2018

On 18 January, the Attorney General of the EU Court of Justice (EuCJ) published his position on whether or not so-called genome editing must be regulated under current EU GMO legislation. On behalf of Testbiotech, the well-known EU legal expert Professor Ludwig Kraemer has now analysed the position of the Attorney General (C-528/16). Professor Kraemer worked as an official for the EU Commission (DG Environment) until 2004 and was involved in drawing up the current EU GMO regulations.

Genetically engineered “super-muscly pigs” for the meat industry

Genetically engineered pigs could be marketed in the EU without risk assessment or labelling

19 February 2018 / New methods of genetic engineering, such as the gene scissors CRISPR/Cas, are being used to produce animals with enhanced muscle growth. These are so-called “super-muscly pigs”. Various experiments have been carried out with pigs, cattle, sheep and goats to “knock-out” the myostatin (MSTN) gene which controls muscle growth. If MSTN is disrupted, there is an abnormal proliferation of muscle cells. These experiments have been successful in some animals; and in some cases patents have been filed on the resulting pigs and cattle.

Data on 'Golden Rice' not sufficient to show health safety and indicate low benefits

Testbiotech comments on risk assessment of FSANZ

5 February 2018 / In 2016, the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) filed an application at the Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) for the market approval of food derived from so-called Golden Rice (GR2) for import. The rice is genetically engineered to produce provitamin A carotenoids; and the rice kernels are yellowish in colour. It is intended to be a fortified food with a high content of carotenoids, in particular, beta-carotene in the grains, to help combat vitamin A deficiency (VAD) especially in developing countries.

Threat of significant loopholes in EU regulation of genetically engineered organisms

Advocate General of EU Court of Justice faces criticism

24 January 2018 / Last week, the Advocate General of the EU Court of Justice publically declared his position on whether new methods of genetic engineering, known as gene editing, should come under EU GMO regulation. In his statement he did not address these new techniques, their applications and risks in detail. Instead, his reasoning is largely based on very general, and in some cases, outdated categories, likely to lead to considerable legal uncertainty.


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