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.
Technology isn’t values neutral and treating it as if it is diminishes discussions around innovation and appropriateness and diverts from much needed dialogue around sustainability and sufficiency.
The recent Defra public consultation on the regulation of genetic technologies suggested that gene editing was the same as ‘traditional plant breeding’. But, says Kathleen Garnett, if its patented its not traditional.
EU and UK attempts to change genome editing regulations could have opened the door to interesting, even productive discussions. Instead they have further entrenched the unhelpful polarisation of early GMO debates.
A new policy briefing from the Genome Editing and Agriculture: Policies, Practices and Public Perceptions (GEAP3) project discusses choices and dilemmas facing policy makers and societal stakeholders in the European Union and the United Kingdom asks bigger questions.