To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what his policy is on enabling gene editing in plant breeding.
15 March 2022
We are taking a cautious and proportionate stepwise approach, based on science, to enable gene editing in plant breeding. On 20 January 2022 Defra laid a Statutory Instrument to simplify the process for plant research in England using new genetic technologies if the resulting plants could have occurred naturally or been produced through traditional breeding methods. This first step in our approach aims to help to free up plant research to enable scientists to develop the knowledge base and drive innovation in farming. As part of our next step we will consider the appropriate measures needed to enable gene edited plants and plant products to be brought to market.