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23.01.2018 |

High Stakes for CRISPR and GMO Regulation in Europe

The European Court of Justice has been considering whether organisms obtained by mutagenesis are exempt from the EU’s Genetically Modified Organisms Directive.

That might sound esoteric or gobbledygook but both pro- and anti-GMO camps are keenly awaiting the outcome as many believe it will determine the legal status in the EU of the “new genetic engineering techniques”.

It almost certainly won’t but it might set the stage – or one of them.

These techniques are usually and erroneously lumped together and called gene (more properly genome) editing; chief of which is the much vaunted – some might say irresponsibly over hyped and promoted – CRISPR-Cas. Together with “synthetic biology” they make up what has been called GMO 2.0 and are seen by proponents and opponents as the future – direction and/or battleground – of genetic engineering in food and farming.

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