Louise Sales – They were the poster children of the gene editing revolution. In 2014, the US company Recombinetics announced they had developed gene edited hornless dairy cattle. They argued that the genetic modification was just a small genetic 'tweak' and that their cattle shouldn't be subject to onerous safety assessments or regulation. Really this was just a way of speeding up natural breeding – or 'precision breeding' as they called it. Except this wasn't actually true.
The Melbourne Friends of the Earth Food Coop team have been working around the clock to continue to serve our Collingwood community and provide healthy affordable food during the COVID-19 crisis.
As reported on ABC’s Background Briefing, Victoria based company – Total Livestock Genetics – has bred dairy cows from ‘gene edited’ bulls whose genomes have since been found to unintentionally contain bacterial DNA. Furthermore, our food regulator Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) has proposed regulatory changes that mean milk from these cows could enter our supermarkets with no safety assessment or labelling.
The Australian Government has removed regulations designed to keep us and our food safe. This means that from now, many genetically modified (GM) animals, plants and microbes will enter our environment and food chain with no requirement for safety testing or traceability.
As Australia is poised to become one of the first countries in the world to deregulate several new genetic modification techniques in animals, a new report highlights the urgent need for safety assessment and regulatory oversight.
Australia could become one of the first countries in the world to deregulate several new genetic modification (GM) techniques in animals, plants and microbes if government plans succeed. Anyone could use techniques like CRISPR to genetically modify animals without the regulator or the rest of us knowing.
Federal Independent MP Andrew Wilkie, Senator Nick McKim and smallholder and writer Matthew Evans have joined forces to warn that proposed amendments to the Federal Gene Technology Regulations will undermine Tasmania’s GMO moratorium.
Scientists from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have discovered that cattle gene edited not to grow horns unexpectedly contain bacterial DNA. These include complete DNA sequences that confer antibiotic resistance. The study demonstrates how risky the Federal Government’s current proposal to deregulate a number of these new genetic modification (GM) techniques in animals, plants and microbes is.
Changes to the Gene Technology Regulations tabled in Federal Parliament threaten to undermine Australia’s status as the world leader in organic food production. These changes will become law unless the Senate disallows them. The decision would leave the majority of new CRISPR and other gene editing applications unregulated.