Cancer-cutting wheat to be grown in the UK

Russia, Ukraine, and Turkey, agree in principle, to unblock cereal exports

Image of wheat growing. Credit: Creative Commons.

Cancer-cutting wheat to be grown in the UK as scientists break free from EU red tape.

Rothamsted Research in Hertfordshire will be attempting to grow a new strain of wheat that is genetically edited but not genetically modified. The genetic editing will be done using a tool called Crispr.

Wheat contains a naturally occurring amino acid called asparagine. But when bread is made or toasted the amino acid converts into acrylamide. Acrylamide is known to cause cancer in rodents.

Rothamsted Research will carry out the trial and will be growing the crop outside. This is just one of the opportunities available post-Brexit now that EU red tape does not have to be followed.

The project is being led by Professor Nigel Halford, who believes it will be possible to produce healthy wheat that will not in fact be genetically modified.

It is claimed that the Crispr technology is different as it means that genetic material can be edited, without new material being introduced.

The EU Court of Justice ruled in 2018 that crops which have been created using the Crispr technology should follow the same rules as genetically modified organisms.

Rothamsted Research believe that the EU regulations were “essentially blocking the use of a technology that is gaining official approval in many other parts of the world”.

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Written by

Alex Glenn

Originally from the UK, Alex is based in Almeria and is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at