Free from EU regulations, Britain to start gene editing plants

Image: Pxhere

No longer bound by EU regulations, Britain will start gene editing plants in the food chain.

Gene edited plants will soon be on British tables, Environment Secretary George Eustice will announce.

According to the government, gene editing will make plant breeding more precise and efficient leading to crops that are more nutritious, resistant to pests and disease, more productive and more beneficial to the environment.

Gene editing is different from genetic modification, because it does not result in the introduction of DNA from other species and creates new varieties similar to those that could be produced more slowly by natural breeding processes – but currently they are regulated in the same way as genetically modified organisms.

Leaving the EU has allowed the UK to “set our own rules, opening up opportunities to adopt a more scientific and proportionate approach to the regulation of genetic technologies,” the government said on September 29.

Environment Secretary George Eustice added: “Gene editing has the ability to harness the genetic resources that nature has provided. It is a tool that could help us in order to tackle some of the biggest challenges that we face – around food security, climate change and biodiversity loss.

“Outside the EU, we are able to foster innovation to help grow plants that are stronger and more resilient to climate change. We will be working closely with farming and environmental groups to ensure that the right rules are in place.”


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Written by

Deirdre Tynan

Deirdre Tynan is an award-winning journalist who enjoys bringing the best in news reporting to Spain’s largest English-language newspaper, Euro Weekly News. She has previously worked at The Mirror, Ireland on Sunday and for news agencies, media outlets and international organisations in America, Europe and Asia. A huge fan of British politics and newspapers, Deirdre is equally fascinated by the political scene in Madrid and Sevilla. She moved to Spain in 2018 and is based in Jaen.

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