Following a change in legislation, commercially produced genetically modified foods can now be produced in the UK. Proponents of the technology claim it will accelerate the creation of more resilient crops that will be needed as a result of climate change. According to critics, this change could have devastating effects on the ecosystem and our food production.
Gene editing requires complete changes to an organism's DNA to improve certain characteristics.
The new law also makes it possible to create genetically modified farm animals, but for now only in the UK; A second vote of MPs will be needed to approve it.
The governments of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have banned the commercial use of gene editing.
The same stringent restrictions under EU law that restrict the commercial development of GM crops apply to gene editing in the UK. Westminster administration has been able to reduce regulations for newer technologies due to Brexit.
Professor Gideon Henderson, the department's chief scientific adviser, claims the new regulations will improve food production while also bringing employment and investment to the UK.
He said what has changed is that we can now use precision breeding technology developed in the lab and take it to the fields to grow better crops and get them to market faster, so we can use the technology to improve agricultural outcomes and food production in the UK and around the world.
Under the Precision Breeding Act, only genetic modifications that can be produced spontaneously or through conventional crossbreeding programs currently in place are permitted. Genetic modification (GM), which involves the addition of genes from different species, is prohibited.
Through gene editing, scientists can precisely modify a plant's genetic makeup, for example adding a gene to increase its growth or reduce its dependence on fertilizers. Crossbreeding of several species can lead to the same change, but it will take much longer.
The new rule allows the use of gene editing and other potential future techniques, as long as the crop produced is the same as a species that can be obtained naturally.
Opponents of genetically modified foods, such as Pat Thomas of Beyond GM, worry that poisons and allergies could enter the food supply because genetically modified products would not have to undergo the same rigorous testing as GM foods in the EU.
“Throughout the entire process of this bill, the government often consulted with scientists who had interests in the biotech industry and who assured the government that this change in the law would have no consequences,” he said.
History has shown that disaster is imminent, especially when regulatory oversight for the environment and food is lifted.
According to Defra's answer, the Food Standards Agency, or FSA, will only allow the sale of products that are found to pose no health risk.
Genetically modified food does not need to be labeled and it is unclear how to prevent GE food from the UK from entering other parts of the UK where it is still banned.
According to a Welsh Government spokesperson, this will have "inevitable consequences for Wales".
"Genetically modified plants, animals and products from the UK may be marketed here without the permissions required by law," the group said in a statement.
This agreement on devolution has been undermined. Despite our efforts, the UK Government chose not to cooperate with us in developing the bill, so its consequences were not fully considered.
While NFU Scotland disagrees with the Scottish government's approach and claims that it puts Scottish farmers at a disadvantage in the global market, the Scottish government has long rejected GMOs and wants to align with the EU.
The protocol between the Northern Ireland government and the EU needs to be followed to comply with the regulations governing the definition of GMO crops in Europe, which also apply to genetically modified crops.
But some plant breeders in the UK are enthusiastic about using gene editing.
The National Institute of Agricultural Botany, located just outside Cambridge, has been cultivating new crop varieties for UK farmers for over a century.
They are crossing several cultivars to create new strains that grow better and are more disease resistant. It may take ten to fifteen years for development. He hopes to use this technology to create new species that can thrive in the hotter, drier conditions Britain is increasingly facing as a result of climate change, according to Professor Mario Caccamo, the lab director, who spoke to BBC News.
According to him, “When we look at how the population has increased and how much we have increased our yields with traditional methods, we lag behind. Estimates suggest that if we don't want to struggle to feed the world, we need to move faster to develop crops.
One of the world's leading countries in plant genetics research is England. However, supporters of the technology argue that the development of expertise is not allowed because commercial development of the technology is actually prohibited. It is hoped that the legal reform will attract new investments, resulting in the emergence of new businesses, businesses and kitchens.
With the help of more than 30.000 employees, Bayer Crop Science has created GM crops that can be used around the world.
However, it employs 90 people working in the field of traditional plant breeding in the UK. While Lindy Blanchard, the company's head of marketing in the UK, welcomes the change in the law, the company is not yet ready to announce a new investment plan in the UK.
“We will definitely look into this issue, but we will move forward step-by-step,” he said. “We are really excited and committed to helping farmers overcome the challenges of climate change and we want to provide safe sustainable food for society.”
The new law also includes a clause allowing genetically modified animals, such as disease-resistant pigs developed in Scotland, to be raised on British farms. But lawmakers in Westminster will need to re-vote on the issue before the government can make sure the animals are not harmed.
Günceleme: 25/03/2023 09:38