Defra has launched a two-part consultation process to inform a review on regulating genetic
technologies in England. Part 1 of the consultation on the regulation of gene editing was
launched on 7 January 2021 and is now open for feedback.

The first set of consultation questions addresses the regulation of GMOs by gene editing
(GE) or other genetic technologies which could have been developed by traditional breeding
techniques. The second set of consultation questions covers a broad reform of legislation
governing organisms produced using genetic technologies.

There is specific reference to organic agriculture in the consultation document. However, it
neglects to mention that organic agriculture has a rigorous governance system mandated in
law worldwide, which prohibits the use or presence of GE. It is therefore clear that,
depending on the outcome of the consultation, safeguards for organic food will likely be
required.

The consultation deadline is 17 March 2021 and it is likely that the FDF Genetic Modification
Electronic Working Group will provide a response. Depending on the views of the FDF
Organic Group, feedback to the consultation could be provided via this electronic Working
Group and/or direct to Defra.

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We are currently formulating our response

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