Our response to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) consultation on widespread regulatory reform in the UK, emphasises the importance of regulation and precaution, the complex regulatory requirements of so-called ‘disruptive’ technologies like gene editing and the urgent need for more citizen input.
The UK government says it will “unlock the power of gene editing” through a series of measures designed to make research, development and routes to market faster and more streamlined. But behind the hype many questions remain.
More than 50 groups have sent a response to the Commission, strongly opposing its plans on the grounds that “deregulation of new GM techniques would pose unacceptable risks to human and animal health and the environment. Deregulation would also prohibit citizens from knowing what they are eating and farmers from knowing what they are sowing.”
The UK’s National Food Strategy has been widely welcomed but whilst it makes some good points it is, in the end a fundamentally flawed document that avoids the conflicts of values and world views that maintain business as usual in food and farming.
Europe is currently wrestling with the same issues around the deregulation of gene editing as the UK. But, unlike supermarkets in the UK, European retailers there are taking the lead in demanding robust regulation, protection of organic and non-GMO labels and transparency for their customers.
Beyond GM has submitted its response to the UK government’s consultation on the deregulation of gene editing. Here is an excerpt and link to the full document.
In response to a civil society appeal for UK supermarkets to back strong regulation of new gene-edited crops and animals, the Co-op has made a clear statement of its support.
The current public consultation on deregulating gene editing is prejudicial, inaccessible, scientifically questionable and shows disdain for average citizens. We have submitted a complaint to Defra and while we await a response, here’s what we think should have been done differently.
Fifty groups and individuals from civil society have written to British supermarkets asking them to show public support for continued regulation of genetically engineered crops and animals.
A newly launched public consultation provides an opportunity for you to have your say on whether we should remove essential regulatory checks from genetically engineered crops and farm animals. Here’s some suggestions to help you negotiate the consultation and respond effectively.