What is genome editing?

Last year, the European Court of Justice ruled that Genome Edited (GE) plants would not be exempt from the EU GMO directive and would be treated and regulated in the same way as other Genetically Modified (GM) crops.

Though GE and GM sound the same they mean slightly different things, and this has led to uncertainty, and different interpretations globally, as to how the two should be regulated.

According to the EU GMO directive, which was written in 2001, prior to GE techniques being developed; a plant is considered a GMO if it has been altered in such a way that could not occur in nature. Within the current directive, several breeding techniques (which fit the definitions of a GMO) were listed as being exempt from the directive, one of which was mutation breeding, also called mutagenesis.

Read more at the John Innes Centre (Penny Hundleby)


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