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for a responsible, fair & sustainable food system

Gene Editing Consultation

The UK Government wants to deregulate plants and animals created using  experimental new gene editing techniques. This would remove essential protections for people, animals and the environment as well as our right to choose what we are buying and eating.

UPDATE:  Defra’s Consultation on the Regulation of Genetic Technologies closed on 17 March 2021 and a report is expected around June. These pages were created to help people understand and contribute to the consultation. They will be updated when we have news of what’s going to happen next. In the meantime:

Please ask your MP to speak up against plans to remove gene editing safeguards

Below, and on linked pages, you will find advice on how to respond, developed by GM Freeze and Beyond GM with help from our colleagues at GM Watch, Logos Environmental and EcoNexus. The consultation covers a lot of issues and this guide includes a lot of information but you do not have to use it all.

Illustration of gene editing

How to have your say

Please submit a detailed response to the consultation if you can by:

  • Using the Citizen Space online form.
  • Emailing consultationreply@defra.gov.uk with “Consultation on the Regulation of Genetic Technologies” in the subject line.
  • Or posting your response to: Consultation Coordinator, Defra, 2nd Floor, Foss House, Kings Pool, 1-2 Peasholme Green, York, YO1 7PX.
 All responses must arrive by Wednesday 17 March 2021.

General Advice

  • If you are responding by email or letter, make it clear that you are submitting a response to the Regulation of Genetic Technologies consultation and link each point in your response to the relevant question numbers in the consultation document.
  • If you are happy to do so, please say that your response is not confidential as it will be helpful to have key messages included in the government report on the consultation.
  • Keep your answers as short as possible while still making your point.
  • Be direct but polite.
  • Personalise your response by providing an introduction why this issue is important to you.
  • If you have evidence that you wish to submit to support your view, please include it in your response.
  • Use our detailed advice inform your response to each question, but use your own words as much as possible.
  • Send a copy of your email to your MP so that they can see that this issue matters to the people in their constituency. Ask them to raise your concerns with Environment Secretary George Eustice, who is driving the plan to deregulate gene editing.
  • Let us know that you have written and send a copy of any meaningful response that you receive to info[at]gmfreeze.org

Please submit your response well before the deadline of 17 March 2021 and share this page with others who may want to have their say.