Tag Archives: gene editing

Instead of calling gene editing good or bad, let’s talk about what it might be used for

This post is by Jonny Hazell, senior policy adviser at the Royal Society, writing in a personal capacity

So much commentary on the public debate around agricultural genetic technologies begins with the assertion “we need to talk about gene editing” [1]. Why? Did we talk about other plant breeding technologies, like x-ray mutagenesis or marker assisted selection? Should we have done? Unless there’s something inherently harmful about a technology, ie you cannot use it without creating something that poses a risk to human or environmental health, then surely the important thing to discuss is the problem the technology is being used to address and the consequences of the proposed solution.

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We need an urgent debate about gene editing

Sunrise Light over Green Wheat Field at SpringThis post is by Green Alliance associate Julie Hill.

Peers are moving to relax the EU-derived regulatory regime for gene editing, a sub-set of genetic modification (GM) techniques aimed at enhancing crops.  This is being done via an amendment to the Agriculture Bill, so the secretary of state for the environment can alter the legislation without going back to parliament. It is a short cut that threatens to rekindle a heated and unhelpfully polarised debate. Read more