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September 4th, 2019 / Alliance for Science, US

Failing to harmonize international regulations around the use of gene editing in agricultural production will hurt seed production globally, the International Seed Federation has cautioned.

The Federation wants governments and agricultural sector players to make conscious efforts to treat gene editing technology in a way that avoids the “mistakes” that have overshadowed the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

Otherwise, the innovations possible through gene editing may be restricted to a few high-value crops and pursued only by the wealthiest seed companies,  the group warned.

Dr. Petra Jorasch recently published a research paper on behalf of the Federation in which she observed that countries currently have different systems to evaluate and regulate products like GMOs that are entering their markets.

This creates a patchwork of national regulations, with some countries regulating specific technologies and others regulating the characteristics of the final product or both, she wrote. Furthermore, definitions for GMO, biotechnology, genetic engineering and bioengineering are not consistent across countries. Read more …