Defra has launched its public consultation on the deregulation of gene editing in England. Deregulation means there would be no or few safety checks and probably no GMO labelling for gene-edited products, even though scientists warn that they could be dangerous for human health and the environment.
Roger Kerr, chief executive at OF&G said:
“It’s concerning that GM and GE are being openly addressed by the prime minister and environment secretary as though it’s already part of agricultural policy. We worry the consultation is simply paying lip service to a deal that’s already been done. And that is simply not acceptable.
“A survey last autumn by the Agricultural Biotechnology Council showed that almost half (48%) of the people surveyed didn’t have faith in, and were not supportive of, new plant breeding techniques, such as GE. Why would UK agriculture want to exclude almost five out of 10 consumers from their market?”