GMO news related to United Kingdom

04.04.2017 |

New Breeding Techniques and synthetic biology - genetic engineering by another name

Advocates claim that synthetic biology and the so-called New Breeding Techniques (NBTs) are distinct from genetic engineering (GE), write Helena Paul, Elisabeth Bücking & Ricarda Steinbrecher. In fact synthetic biology and NBTs carry similar risks to old-style GE, and even create novel hazards. The 'new GE' techniques - as they should be named - and their products deserve regulation at least as strict as those applying to GMOs.

With the development of new genetic engineering techniques, the ease and speed of creating genetically modified organisms (GMOs) has sharply increased, and the costs have gone down.

Scientists have acquired the ability to make deeper and more complex changes to the genetic makeup of living organisms.

Not only can DNA be rapidly sequenced but DNA strands can also be easily synthesised, taking digital sequence instructions directly from computers (and the internet).

This has led to the emergence of two new fields of genetic engineering that overlap with each other: synthetic biology (or synbio) and the so-called New Breeding Techniques (NBTs). In most cases both involve the use of old-style genetic engineering, but they also go much further.

So what precisely are these new techniques?

15.03.2017 |

Say NO to risky GM potato trial

The Sainsbury Laboratory wants to plant experimental GM potatoes that haven't even been trialled under controlled conditons. Please make your views known in the public consultation which ends on 23 March.

What you can do

Just one year after gaining consent to plant GM blight-resistant potatoes, the Sainsbury Laboratory has applied for permission to plant a series of much more complicated GM potatoes at its farm in Norwich. Defra is considering the application and a public consultation is now open. GM Freeze has submitted a detailed objection on behalf of 33 different organisations, but it is important that other voices speak out against this crop too.

07.03.2017 |

Supermarkets: 'Feed me the Truth' about GMOs in our food chain!

UK supermarkets led the world in saying 'no!' to GM foods and ingredients, writes Liz O'Neill. But they faltered on GM feeds for pigs, cattle, poultry and fish, with GM soy and corn dominating the UK's non-organic market. Now campaigners are putting the pressure on supermarkets to make their entire supply chains GMO-free for the sake of animal, human and ecological health.

03.02.2017 |

Controversy Surrounding GMOs Leading to Popularity of Organic Baby Food: Infiniti Research

LONDON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Increasing concerns about GMOs, pesticides, and food additives are affecting the baby food market worldwide. According to Infiniti Research, more parents and caregivers are opting for natural and organic baby food: close to half of all new baby food launches new launches from 2007 to 2012 were in the organic segment, and supermarket sales of organic baby food saw a rise of more than 60% over the past five years. The market is experiencing a shift from non-organic baby food to organic.

How can Infiniti Research help you? Request a brochure

Organic baby food is typically considered to be baby food that is made from ingredients that have been grown without the use of pesticides, herbicides, or other chemicals and modifications. North America, according to Infiniti Research, is the largest growing market for organic baby food in the world. In North America, GMOs are typically considered safe for human consumption; in many other regions and countries, however, this is not the case. The sale and production of genetically modified crops are highly restricted in France, Germany, and other European nations; North America and the EU have very different regulations when it comes to GMOs.

31.01.2017 |

Gene drives thwarted by emergence of resistant organisms

Until this obstacle is overcome, the technology is unlikely to succeed in the wild.

In the small city of Terni in central Italy, researchers are putting the final touches on what could be the world’s most sophisticated mosquito cages. The enclosures, each occupying 150 cubic metres, simulate the muggy habitats in which Africa’s Anopheles gambiae mosquitoes thrive. By studying the insects under more-natural conditions, scientists hope to better understand how to eradicate them — and malaria — using an emerging genetic-engineering technology called gene drives.


The Target Malaria team has developed a second generation of gene-drive mosquitoes, hoping to slow the development of resistance, says Andrea Crisanti, a molecular parasitologist at Imperial College London. The researchers plan to test them in their new Italian facility later this year to get a sense of how the mosquitoes might fare in the wild. But molecular biologist Tony Nolan, also at Imperial, expects evolution to throw up some surprises. He says that his greatest worry about gene drives is that they simply won’t work.

19.01.2017 |

Jamie Oliver fears collapse in food standards after Brexit

Jamie Oliver has shared his fears that Brexit could lead to falling standards in Britain’s farm sector. He was speaking to Huffington Post founder Arianna Huffington in Davos, Switzerland where rich and influential leaders are gathered for the World Economic Forum.

Jamie OliverThe celebrity chef said the EU wasn’t perfect, but praised its food standards as the “safest on the planet.” He highlighted Europe’s falling chemical burden and hostility to GM crops in the talk. The main fear he aired was of a trade deal with the US; President-elect Donald Trump has indicated that he is amenable to establishing a quick UK-US trade deal, but Oliver said this would leave the UK open to imports produced to lower standards, including hormone treated meat.

14.01.2017 |

GM 2.0? 'Gene-editing' produces GMOs that must be regulated as GMOs

The EU is considering the exclusion of gene-edited plants and animals from GM regulations, write Janet Cotter & Ricarda Steinbrecher. However gene-edited organisms clearly fall within the definition of GMOs in both European and international law. They also present real risks to the environment and human health - and must be regulated like any other GMOs.

There has been a lot in the news recently about the ethics of gene editing in humans.

But, as yet largely unnoticed is that the European Commission is considering whether the gene-editing of plants and animals, for example in agriculture, be exempted from regulation or even falls outside the scope of EU law governing genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

In other words, whether the products of gene-editing should be labelled and regulated as GMOs, or allowed to enter the food chain untested and unlabelled.

If you believe the proponents' claims, gene-editing is nothing more than the 'tweaking' of DNA in plants and animals - nothing to be concerned about.

But the reality is that gene editing is simply GM 2.0, with many of the same concerns and problems as the GM crops that Europeans have already rejected.

13.01.2017 |

Forecast On Non GMO Yogurt Market Global Industry Analysis and Trends till 2026

Non-GMO and organic foods, apart from natural food stores, Non-GMO products now came in mainstream and sold in major supermarkets nationwide. It has been noticed, consumer is demanding more organic & Non GMO products. Non-GMO yogurt is where the presence of toxic persistent pesticides, artificial hormones and antibiotics, for production of the milk is zero. The use of Non-GMO reached nearly 11% on food and beverages since 2013, the demand has been increased of Non-GMO products. In the US, a survey was conducted for GMO and Non-GMO food products, Maximum Americans agreed on the fact that GMO food product are not safe to eat and also not good for health.

19.12.2016 |

GMO maize NK603 is not substantially equivalent to its non-GMO counterpart

EFSA’s conclusion on NK603 is false

The basis of GMO approvals worldwide is the concept of substantial equivalence, meaning that the GMO maize is compositionally the same as the non-GMO counterpart (nearest relative).

In 2009 the EFSA GMO Panel concluded that “maize NK603 is compositionally equivalent to conventional maize”, except for the intended change – the presence of extra proteins that make the maize tolerant to glyphosate herbicides such as Roundup.

However, the new study, by a team of researchers led by Dr Michael Antoniou at King's College London, shows that EFSA’s conclusion is false and that the genetic engineering process has had far-reaching unintended effects on the composition of NK603 maize.

02.11.2016 |

Waitrose ends use of GM animal feed on its farms

Critics hail decision as 'beginning of the end' for use of the crops in the UK

- Waitrose meat, milk and eggs will not come from animals on GM feed

- Move is a huge blow to the controversial 'Frankenfood' technology

- Campaigners are now demanding that other stores follow suit

Waitrose's meat, milk and eggs will no longer come from animals fed a genetically modified diet.

The retailer is dropping GM soya feed on its farms in a huge blow to the controversial 'Frankenfood' technology.

Critics of GM have hailed the decision as the 'beginning of the end of the last large-scale use of GM crops in the UK'.


The retailer said the non-GM soya used on its farms will now come from the Danube region. It is also using other alternatives, such as clover for sheep and cattle, and faba beans for pigs, chickens and ducks.

The first shipment of non-GM soya arrived in October and went to Waitrose's dedicated pork supplier, Dalehead Foods.