[27 July/Stuff]

According to scientists, strict new regulations by Europe’s highest court on gene-edited crops could stifle Kiwi innovation. It ruled gene edited crops should be subject to the same regulations as genetically modified organisms. Older GMO technology typically added new DNA to a plant or animal, whereas gene editing involved precise modification of DNA sections. Otago University Geneticist and Director of Genomics Aotearoa, Peter Dearden, said gene editing was a far more accurate way to make a mutation than GMO. He added the problem was the technologies were being regulated rather than the outcomes. Professor of Molecular Genetics at Massey University, Barry Scott, noted subjecting new technologies to the same rules and regulations didn’t appear to take scientific knowledge and precision into account. Plant & Food Research Scientist, Kieran Elborough, said it was important to note the decision was a ruling on where the technology sat within existing regulations.