Welcome to GeneWatch UK

GeneWatch UK is a not-for-profit group that monitors developments in genetic technologies from a public interest, human rights, environmental protection and animal welfare perspective. GeneWatch believes people should have a voice in whether or how these technologies are used and campaigns for safeguards for people, animals and the environment. We work on all aspects of genetic technologies - from GM crops and foods to genetic testing of humans.

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Topics

  • GM insects

    A new scientific paper reports that genes from Oxitec's GM mosquitoes, released in experiments in Brazil, have spread into the wild population of mosquitoes. See also the reports in the Cayman Compass and Yale News.

    Read the joint press release on Target Malaria's release of GM mosquitoes in Burkina Faso.

    Read the joint briefing by GeneWatch UK, Third World Network, and the African Centre for Biodiversity (ACB): Oxitec's failed GM mosquito releases worldwide: Forewarnings for Africa and the Target Malaria. See also ACB's website.

  • New Genetic Engineering Techniques

    Read GeneWatch UK's response to the Nuffield Council on Bioethics' Call for Evidence on Genome Editing and Farmed Animals.

    Gene edited crops and animals are genetically modified organisms (GMOs), covered by GMO regulations. Read the press release and judgment from the European Court of Justice and the articles by Reuters and the BBC.

    Gene editing can be used to construct 'gene drives', which aim to spread genetically modified genes across wild populations faster than the normal ruls of inheritance allow. Find out about the scientific, ethical, socio-economic and regulatory aspects of gene drives here.

  • International DNA databases

    Read the report by the Forensic Genetics Policy Initiative: Establishing Best Practice for DNA databases. This report was developed using an innovative consultative approach. The final report reflects input from civil society groups around the world from a human rights perspective.

  • GM Crops and Food

    Syngenta's RoundUp Ready GA21 maize is the only remaining GM crop in the commercial pipeline for EU cultivation that would be suitable for growing in England or Flanders (Belgium): areas of northern European countries which grow maize and have not used the opt out. This crop is awaiting approval by the EU.

  • A DNA database in the NHS?

    Google subsidiary DeepMind has been given access to NHS patient data from millions of Londoners, without patients' knowledge or consent. Read the 2013 GeneWatch UK report about how the Government plans to share NHS medical records and genetic information from every patient with companies like Google.

    For more information on sharing of NHS medical records, visit Medconfidential.

  • Genes and Marketing

    Read the GeneWatch UK briefing about the EU's In Vitro Diagnostics (IVD) Regulation. The new regulation will protect patients and consumers by requiring companies to provide evidence that genetic tests and computer algorithms correctly diagnose or predict disease, before they can be marketed. However the regulations will not come into force until 2022.

  • GM fish

    In the USA, the FDA has approved GM salmon for use as food: the first time a GM animal has been allowed into the food chain. The GM salmon eggs will be produced by the company AquaBounty in Canada, shopped to Panama for growing in an on-land facility, and then shipped as dead fish products to the US market, where they are not required to be labelled as GM. Environmentalists are concerned about the impacts on wild salmon if the GM fish escape, including if GM fish eggs are accidentally or deliberately diverted to fish farms elsewhere in the world. The Center for Food Safety has stated it will bring a legal case against the decision.

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