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.


  • International DNA databases

    Read the new 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 insects

    Concerns about ineffectiveness have led to the abandonment of a planned roll out of open releases of Oxitec's GM mosquitoes across the Grand Cayman. Read the Cayman News Service article and redacted documents. The decision follows evidence summarised in a GeneWatch UK briefing and press release. However, trials of the GM mosquitoes are currently expected to continue in the small pilot area in West Bay where previous releases have taken place.

    The Target Malaria consortium plans an open release of GM mosquitoes in Burkina Faso this year. Read the joint press release and briefing.

  • Commercial interests

    As the major GM companies begin a period of consolidation, concerns have been raised about even greater monopoly control over seeds. See GeneWatch UK's Open Letter to the EU's Competition Commissioner. See also the petition against the merger between Syngenta and the Chinese Government-owned ChemChina.

  • Patents on seeds
  • New Genetic Engineering Techniques

    Read the Gene Drive Files and articles in the Guardian and Independent Science News, about US military funding of gene drive research, and secret lobbying for gene drives funded by the Gates' Foundation.

    Read the resolution and press release from the Transatlantic Consumer Dialogue (TACD).

  • GM Crops and Food

    The Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) has confirmed the right of civil society organisations to submit legal cases concerning the health risks of genetically engineered plants.The case was brought by TestBiotech, following rejection of a complaint by TestBiotech and GeneWatch UK, which raised concerns about assessment of the health impacts of GM crops with altered oil content. Read the TestBiotech press release and the report in the Court House News Service.

    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.

  • GM and Cloned Mammals

    The Guardian reports that a UK couple have cloned their dead dog.

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