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September 25th, 2017 / Emerging Topics in Life Sciences

Governments all over the world are struggling with the regulatory status of gene-edited organisms. Are they regulated? Should they be regulated? In the present paper, the main focus is on the regulatory status of gene-edited organisms within the European regulatory framework. A stepwise analysis is performed that comes to the conclusion that gene-edited agricultural products that carry edits that can also occur naturally by mating and/or natural recombination are not a genetically modified organism. On the question whether they should be regulated, it is argued that it is difficult to require regulatory oversight that would go beyond what we now require for conventional products that can carry the same types of alterations. A regulatory approach is pleaded for that abides to fundamental principles of law making, and which allows for gene editing to develop responsibly.
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