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.
By Louise Sales The Australian government is once again asking states and territories to sign off on proposed changes that would allow scientists to use new genetic modification techniques such as CRISPR in animals, plants and microbes with no regulation.
Responses to an election questionnaire circulated by Gene Ethics show major policy differences between political parties on how new methods of genetic modification (GM) such as CRISPR should be regulated.
On the day before the Federal election was called, the Government quietly announced changes to Australia’s Gene Technology Regulations that will allow a raft of new genetically modified (GM) animals, plants and microbes to enter our environment and food chain with no safety assessment and potentially no labelling.
Changes to Australia’s Gene Technology Regulations announced yesterday will allow a raft of new genetically modified (GM) animals, plants and microbes to enter our environment and food chain with no safety assessment and potentially no labelling. These include super-muscly pigs, non-browning mushrooms, and wheat with powdery mildew-resistance.
As state and territory ministers consider a recommendation by the Federal Government that would leave a range of new genetic modification (GM) techniques unregulated, new evidence shows that these techniques are not as precise and safe as has been claimed.
At today’s Agriculture Minister’s Forum, State and Federal Agriculture Ministers will discuss proposed changes to our Gene Technology Regulations that would make Australia the first country in the world to deregulate genetically modified animals.
Australia could become the first country in the world to deregulate the use of new genetic modification (GM) techniques in animals. The techniques, known as ‘gene editing’, will be considered when State and Federal Governments meet at the Legislative and Governance Forum on Gene Technology meeting in Adelaide this Thursday.