Genetic Technology (Precision Breeding) Act

The Genetic Technology (Precision Breeding) Bill was introduced in 2022 to deregulate some GMOs developed using gene editing techniques in England, so that they may not require:

  • environmental risk assessments before release into the environment, or any monitoring afterwards;
  • labelling for consumers when they enter the food chain as food or feed.

The Bill allows regulations to be developed for those exempt GMOs used to produce food and feed (such as GM crops or farm animals). These regulations may or may not provide traceability for exempt GMOs intended to enter the food chain and may or may not require adverse effects of those GMOs used in food production on human and animal health and the environment to be avoided.

Other exempt GM organisms (such as forestry trees, pets or wild animals, including insects) will not be required to have any environmental risk assessment before open release into the environment, and there is no provision to stop, destroy or clean-up such releases if anything goes wrong.

The Act was adopted with minor amendments in March 2023, but it requires secondary legislation that will now determine important details such as the extent of risk assessments and labelling that will be required, and how animal welfare will be assessed.


↑ Top