Mirroring the regulatory process already adopted in Canada and the approach proposed by the European Union (EU) Commission in July, the UK Food Standards Agency (FSA) is now recommending the transfer of edited foods from the long process of the regulation that is currently in place on transgenics. So far, seven field trials with edited crops have been reported in England.
Plant breeders have welcomed proposals from the UK Food Standards Agency (FSA) for a new streamlined, science-based approach to regulating gene-edited crops in England. An FSA board meeting on Wednesday 20 September discussed plans for the regulation of precision-enhanced foods under the Genetic Technology (Precision Enhancement) Act 2023.
The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Agricultural Science and Technology said the FSA’s proposals could pave the way for England to take a leading position in research, development and commercialization of precision products. The British Society of Plant Breeders (BSPB), the representative body for the plant breeding industry in the UK, and agricultural science organization NIAB also welcomed the FSA’s recommendations.
“By accelerating the development of improved crop varieties, precision breeding technologies such as Crispr/Cas gene editing will help plant breeders keep up with the demands for more productivity, agricultural development, resource efficiency, pest and chronic disease resistance, improved nutrition, and resilience to climate change,” said BSPB President Robin Wood.