At its core, powerful institutions have exploited public confidence and trust that science is produced in a neutral and impartial manner. But when private industry information is not subject to robust debate and challenge, it’s propaganda. Call it what it is and we might be able to start changing things.
Genetically engineered organisms in agriculture are, first and foremost, a food system and environmental issue. In recent years the UK government has sought to recontextualise them as a science and innovation issue divorced from their real world uses and consequences. Our 2024 manifesto calls for GMOs to be put back in their rightful context and for this to be the basis for rational policy and regulation of agricultural genetic technologies.
The UK’s Genetic Technology (Precision Breeding) Bill, currently making its way through Parliament, allows gene editing of wild and free-living species. Shouldn’t we be talking about that?
The UK government has committed itself to deregulating genetically engineered organisms created using new ‘gene editing’ technologies. But how well do its proposals align with those elsewhere in the world?
A new public dialogue on gene edited farm animals, by the Nuffield Council on Bioethics, BBSRC and Sciencewise, challenges the notion that members of the public are incapable of contributing to complex policy and regulatory discussions
Calls for sustainability criteria for genome edited organisms are welcome and long overdue, but sustainability cannot be used as a substitute for risk assessment
Citizen views are integral to ensuring that technologies and science responds to the needs and wants of society at large. Our new review concludes it’s time to make meaningful citizen engagement part of the DNA of the regulatory process.
Anything can happen between now and the final version of the new Precision Breeding Bill. But government seems to have taken to heart the suggestion from last year’s Regulatory Horizons Council report to apply “creative use of guidelines, standards [and] policies” to see if it’s possible to get it right (or get away with it).
A new analysis by A Bigger Conversation suggests that, in its haste to deregulate agricultural gene technologies, the UK government is “choosing to get it wrong” by ignoring expertise from all sides.