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.

Please help to support our work by making a donation.


  • New Genetic Engineering Techniques

    The UK Government has proposed deregulating gene edited organisms (plants and animals) in England. Read the GeneWatch UK briefing on the Bill and visit our Genetic Technologies (Precision Breeding) Bill webpage.

    GeneWatch UK's response to the Government's earlier consultation is here.

    GeneWatch UK has published a briefing on problems with DNA repair during the gene editing process.

    Read the joint briefing by Third World Network (TWN) and GeneWatch UK Why genome edited organisms are not excluded from the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety.

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

    In the EU, 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.

  • GM insects

    The UK-based company Oxitec, owned by Intrexon, has applied to release a second generation of its GM mosquitoes in Florida and California. Read GeneWatch UK's submissions to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) here and here.

    A 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.

  • International DNA databases

    Vist GeneWatch's new website, My DNA, My Family, My Rights.

    Corporations selling DNA-profiling technology are aiding human-rights abuses: read the article in Nature.

    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

    Read the new report, published by Third World Network in collaboration with GeneWatch UK, 'Bt Crops Past Their Sell-By Date: A Failing Technology Searching for New Markets?

    Read the new GeneWatch UK Report, Time for the end of GM/GE herbicide tolerant crops?. The summary and a low-resolution full report can be downloaded separately.

  • A DNA database in the NHS?

    Vist GeneWatch's new website, My DNA, My Family, My Rights.

    Read the debate in the British Medical Journal about plans to sequence every baby's DNA at birth.

    Read the 2013 GeneWatch UK report about previous 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

    Vist GeneWatch's new website, My DNA, My Family, My Rights.

    Read the GeneWatch UK response to the MHRA's consultation on the future regulation of medical devices in the United Kingdom. Medical devices include genetic tests, which can currently be sold without any independent check on the claims made by commercial companies. GeneWatch has long argued that these tests should be regulated so that people are not misled about their health.

  • GM fish

    In the USA, a Federal Court has declared genetically engineered salmon unlawful. Read the press release from the Center for Food Safety. The court ruled that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) failed to analyze risks to endangered salmon from escape, when appropproving the GM salmon. The court also rejected the FDA's claim that it lacks a duty to protect the environment from genetically engineered animals.

  • GM trees

    There are plans to release GM American Chestnut trees into forests in the USA. Read GeneWatch UK's submission to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).

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