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Gene Editing Forum: Stacked Attack On GM Regulation

The AgScience Canterbury forum on Gene editing is being held in Lincoln on the 21 October [1] under the premise that there is ‘urgent need for wide and well-informed discussion and debate about gene editing’, yet the programme is stacked with embedded interest proponents of GE, stifling balanced debate on the evidence so far. [2]

The AgScience Lincoln Forum is choosing to ignore The Royal Society Expert Panel report. The Royal Society has already conducted meetings on GE throughout the country. The meeting participants were canvassed on the use of gene editing technology in plants, animals and pests. Many participants had serious concerns and felt it was not something New Zealand needed.

“It is highly concerning that yet again this debate does not focus on the science of Gene Editing but a selection of people who are compromised by commercial interests and who are lobbying for the removal of GE regulation,” said Jon Carapiet, spokesperson for GE Free NZ.

The Forum comes at a time when concerns are being raised about the dangers of using Gene Editing technologies (GE) to genetically engineer living organisms and turn them into commodities that can be owned and traded to benefit corporate patent holders.

Studies in the last year have shown that GE is not a stable and safe technology; GE Organisms are riddled with imprecise, unintended mutations and off target effects, many overlooked for the expediency of commercialisation. All untested and potentially dangerous to the environment and consumers.

As we reset our vision for the future we must stop destabalising and destroying the natural environment. Gene Editing is a powerful set of unproven genetic engineering techniques that must be regulated.

The Government must ensure that any advanced GE technologies continue to be regulated.

References:

[1] https://www.agscience.org.nz/canterbury-forum-2020-gene-editing/

[2] Advanced Gene Editing Technologies- https://www.gefree.org.nz/documents/advanced-gene-editing-technologies-gmo-2-0/

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