New GM techniques
The legal status of a number of different genetic engineering techniques, including gene editing, is being debated around the world.
Why does it matter?
GM is subject regulation all over the world. In Europe, GM food and crops are traceable and labelled. That could all change if a group of so-called “new plant breeding techniques” escape legal classification as GM.
Proponents claim these new techniques shouldn’t “count” as GM because they are more precise and don’t usually add genes from other species. However, they do involve changing the genome in the lab in ways we are only just beginning to understand.
These new genetic engineering techniques have no history of safe use and must be subject to proper regulation because:
Precision is not the same as predictability. All of these techniques can give rise to unexpected effects.
GM Freeze believes that these techniques cannot currently help create a world in which our food is produced responsibly, fairly and sustainably.
All genetic engineering techniques must be subject to proper regulation and traceability, whatever name you give them.
FIND OUT MORE: articles and blogs
GM Freeze Director Liz O’Neill discussing the European Court Advocate General’s opinion on the legal status of mutagenesis, on BBC Radio 4’s Farming Today (available to listen until 20 February 2018)
Biotech lobby and the NBT Platform, in The Ecologist
FIND OUT MORE: reports, papers and briefings
Products of new genetic modification techniques should be strictly regulated as GMOs – Statement from the European Network of Scientists for Social and Environmental Responsibilty.
Resolution on consumer concerns about new genetic engineering techniques – Transatlantic Consumer Dialogue