Government announces deregulation of risky new GM techniques the day before the election is called
Apr 18, 2019
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.
These include super-muscly pigs, non-browning mushrooms, and wheat with powdery mildew-resistance.
The deregulation comes as a new study adds to the growing body of evidence that new GM techniques such as CRISPR are not as safe as claimed.
The study found that in 50 per cent of the cells looked at, the use of CRISPR resulted in unexpected effects, including the production of new proteins.
There is a risk that these proteins could be novel toxins or allergens. It is vital that GM animals, plants and microbes produced in this way are assessed for safety before being released into our environment and our food supply.
Commenting on the new study, London-based molecular geneticist Dr Michael Antoniou said, “The discoveries described in this study add to the increasing number of ways in which gene editing can go wrong. Regulators need to fully take on board these and other findings of off- and on-target unexpected outcomes from gene editing and subject all products produced with these methods to a comprehensive health risk assessment before considering market approval.”… Read more >>