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Responses to an election questionnaire show major policy differences.
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. The Australian Greens, Science Party and Health Australia Party all agree genetically modified organisms produced using methods such as CRISPR should be assessed for safety before release into our environment and food chain. Yet the Coalition Government quietly announced the deregulation of several new GM techniques the day before the...read more
On the day before the Federal election was called, the Minister for Regional Services Bridget McKenzie 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...read more
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. The deregulation comes as new studies show that these GM techniques are not as safe as claimed. The changes make Australia the first country in the world to deregulate the use of CRISPR and other gene...read more
Some of the world’s leading experts in gene editing have called for a global moratorium on the use of new genetic modification techniques such as CRISPR in humans because we don’t know if they are safe. And yet, the Federal Government is once again asking states and territories to sign off on proposed changes that would allow scientists to use the same techniques in animals, plants and microbes with no regulation. Take action: demand that these techniques are regulated. In an open letter in the journal Nature the...read more
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. The Federal Government has asked state and territory ministers to sign off on the proposed changes by 11th March. Two new studies in the journal Science looking at mice and rice show that gene editing techniques can result in “substantial genome-wide off-target mutations”. Another new study...read more