What’s the Issue?
On 7th January 2021, DEFRA launched an online consultation on the regulation of gene technologies and, notably, the technique of ‘gene editing’. This consultation ran until 17th March 2021.
Gene editing techniques, such as CRISPR, are supposed to allow for lab-based changes to DNA to give plants, animals, and other organisms specific traits such as disease resistance. The Landworkers’ Alliance are concerned that DEFRA is using the consultation to push a high-tech, industrial agenda for deregulation which will have major adverse impacts on all agricultural and food systems, and especially agroecological and organic farmers.
What are we doing?
The Landworkers’ Alliance urged its members and supporters to provide an alternative perspective to this important consultation, to allow for a more balanced debate on the pros and cons of gene editing and the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in food, feed and farming.
The UK Government are due to release a post-consultation report later this summer.