GMO news related to United Kingdom

01.12.2021 |

Rules to create gene-edited farm animals must put welfare first - review

Regulations to allow the production of gene-edited farm animals must put welfare first, according to an independent review.

The technology allows scientists to alter DNA so as to introduce specific traits, such as resistance to disease.

The UK government is mulling proposals to allow the commercial development of gene-edited livestock in England.

An independent analysis has called for a review of the government's proposals for regulating the technology.

A report by the Nuffield Council for Bioethics warns that scrapping the current ban on the commercial development of gene-edited animals could increase livestock suffering.

19.11.2021 |

Safeguarding Our Food And Our Farms – Why New GMOs Are A Real And Present Danger

Hosted by GM Freeze

Most agroecologists understand that genetic engineering has no place in a responsible, fair and sustainable food system but the PR campaign promoting new gene editing techniques is clever, well-resourced and gaining ground. The UK Government is accelerating plans to remove vital regulatory safeguards and, with them, our ability to say no. Post-Brexit market rules mean that even Scotland’s strong policy rejection of all GMOs will be under threat if we don’t stop the headlong rush towards a high-tech quick-fix takeover of our food and our farms.

02.11.2021 |

A poisoned arrow for Food and Climate Policy

Biden and UAE set ‘Net Zero trap’ at COP26 with ‘AIM for Climate’ launch

For immediate release

Glasgow, Tuesday 2 November 2021

AIM for Climate (AIM4C) is a deliberate ploy to reframe industrial agriculture and big tech as climate change heroes rather than the climate change villains that they actually are.

29.10.2021 |

Gene Editing – Blurring the Lines Between Nature and Technology

This session explores whether we are changing the definition of nature to accommodate a technological innovation agenda, the potential impacts of viewing food as software, the regulatory challenges of blurring the lines between natural and technological/artificial, and offers a legal perspective on patents and genome editing claims of ‘close to nature’.

26.10.2021 |

Deregulating gene editing – opening a door to what, exactly?

Earlier this year the UK’s Department for the Environment, Farming and Rural Affairs (Defra) launched a public consultation on its plans to deregulate agricultural crops and other organisms produced using a genetic engineering process called gene editing.

The 10-week consultation provoked thousands of responses from the public, as well as from academia, science, business and the public sector – and 86% of all responses indicated that gene editing should continue to be regulated as a GMO. In spite of this the UK government has announced its intention to remove key regulations from gene edited crops.

07.10.2021 |

On-target effects of genome editing techniques: (Un)repaired DNA damage, a hindrance to safety and development?

GeneWatch UK, September 2021

Genome editing encompasses new forms of genetic engineering techniques being increasingly applied to the development of agricultural and biomedical technologies, by ‘editing’ the DNA of living organisms (i.e. their ‘genome’), including plants, animals and human cells. The genome editing process involves the use of biological molecules (enzymes) which cut the DNA and various mechanisms which then repair it. Arguments over the safety and efficacy of genome editing techniques at the molecular level often hinge on aspects of their ‘precision’ in targeting DNA sequences of interest, and the ‘indistinguishability’ of engineered traits from mutations that may arise naturally.

05.10.2021 |

Can altering the genes in our food really be safe?

Longtime GMO critic Geoffrey Lean draws attention to troubling research findings on gene editing

The article below on the Westminster government's intention to deregulate gene editing is by Geoffrey Lean – Britain’s longest-serving environmental correspondent, who has written regularly for the Telegraph, the Yorkshire Post, the Observer and the Independent on Sunday, among other publications.

02.10.2021 |

Tell the European Commission: No to new GMOs

Keep GM food out of our fields and off our plates (quick and easy action for EU and non-EU citizens)

The European Commission is asking for your opinion on new GMOs produced with gene editing techniques like CRISPR. We've told them to apply existing GMO regulations to all GMOs and to stop trying to sneak GM food onto our fields and plates untested and unlabelled. Send your own message to the Commission at

22.09.2021 |

Chromothripsis: Bad news for gene editing

Discovery of "catastrophic" unintended effect of CRISPR gene editing may have caused slump in companies' stock. Report: Claire Robinson

CRISPR gene editing is often presented as a straightforward, precise, and safe procedure. But recent research findings on CRISPR gene editing for gene therapy applications show it can lead to massive damage to chromosomes. The phenomenon is known as chromothripsis.

An article in Nature Biotechnology about the new findings describes chromothripsis as "an extremely damaging form of genomic rearrangement that results from the shattering of individual chromosomes and the subsequent rejoining of the pieces in a haphazard order".

06.09.2021 |

Farming Today - Report suggests less regulation for gene edited crops, livestock selective breeding

Released On: 06 Sep 2021Available for 29 days

Growing genetically edited crops has moved another step closer to being a reality in England with a new report for the government on how new regulations could work. The Regulatory Horizon Council, an independent committee which advises government, suggests a ‘light touch’ approach which would treat GE crops more like conventionally grown ones and so reduce the time and cost of getting permission for new products. Anti GM campaigners say the report is disappointing and misrepresentative. For centuries livestock farmers have been fine tuning breeding. In the past it was about finding the tastiest meat or the best fleeces. Now, modern breeding methods can help reduce the risk of disease, boost profits and even help cut the carbon footprint of farming. This week we’re all about animal breeding and to kick us off we hear from Professor Mike Coffey, Leader of Animal Breeding and Genomics at SRUC, Scotland’s Rural College.