FOEA Emerging tech Project

The biosafety risks of gene editing

The Australian government is tearing up regulations that were put in place to protect us from potentially dangerous genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Changes to the Gene Technology Regulations currently tabled in Federal Parliament will leave the majority of new CRISPR and other gene editing uses unregulated and allow anyone to genetically modify animals, plants and microbes – posing major risks to the environment and human health....

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Regulation of gene technology

The day before the Federal election was called, the Australian Government announced the deregulation of a range of new GM techniques it is referring to as Site Directed Nucleases 1 (SDN-1). These include certain uses of CRISPR. Our food regulator Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) has also proposed regulatory changes that would leave food produced using these risky new GM techniques unregulated.

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GM 2.0 and its market impacts

The day before the Federal election was called, the Australian Government announced and enacted the deregulation of a range of new genetic modification (GM) techniques referred to as Site Directed Nucleases 1 (SDN-1). These include certain uses of CRISPR. Our food regulator Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) has also proposed leaving these risky new GM techniques unregulated. However, if these techniques are deregulated in Australia...

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Nanoparticles in infant formula FOI briefing

In July 2017, independent testing commissioned by Friends of the Earth found nanoparticles in popular Australian infant formula products that are both illegal in Australia and potentially dangerous. Documents released under Freedom of Information laws show that our food regulator Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) unilaterally ‘legalised’ the use of nano-hydroxyapatite (n-Ha) in baby formula after previously declaring it wasn’t...

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Biohacking

An increasing number of people – many with no formal biological training – are genetically engineering common microbes in community labs and kitchens, posing potentially serious risks to the environment and human health and raising serious ethical questions. These individuals regard the living world as suitable for hacking, like the entirely artificial digital world. They also believe that voluntary codes of conduct are sufficient...

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