The CLA welcomes government plans to pave the way to enable the use of gene editing technologies, which can aid the development of crops that reduce the environmental impacts of agriculture.
This week, the government revealed new plans to unlock the power of gene editing to help farmers grow more resistant, more nutritious and more productive crops. It follows the government response to the gene editing consultation, announced last September.
Gene editing is a tool that makes plant breeding more precise and efficient so we can breed crops that are more nutritious, resistant to pests and disease, more productive and more beneficial to the environment, helping farmers and reducing impacts on the environment.
In response to the announcement, the CLA said:
Gene editing has the potential to translate decades of scientific research into the development of crops that are healthier to consume and reduce the environmental impacts of agriculture. The potential benefits are high and the risks are no different from conventional breeding.
Environment Secretary George Eustice said:
Gene editing has the ability to harness the genetic resources that nature has provided. It is a tool that could help us in order to tackle some of the biggest challenges that we face – around food security, climate change and biodiversity loss.
Outside the EU, we are able to foster innovation to help grow plants that are stronger and more resilient to climate change. We will be working closely with farming and environmental groups to ensure that the right rules are in place.