FOEA Emerging tech Project

New studies show decision to deregulate gene editing was flawed

Last year, the Federal Government decided not to regulate a range of new genetic modification (GM) techniques referred to as Site Directed Nucleases 1 (SDN-1) in animals, plants and microbes. This means these organisms can be released into our environment with no requirement for any safety assessment. The Office of the Gene Technology Regulator (OGTR) argued that organisms produced using these techniques “present no different risk than...

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What will be the future of food?

The global pandemic has exposed the flaws in our current highly concentrated, inequitable, industrial food system. At this moment, we stand at the crossroads with two starkly different, and fundamentally incompatible, visions for the future of food. One leads us to resilience, regeneration, and justice for communities, biodiversity, and our climate. The other entrenches current health, social and economic inequities, and worsens our climate and...

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Feral cats aren’t the biggest threat to our native wildlife

A new study by the Northern Territory Government’s Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) suggests that feral cats aren’t as great a menace to the Top End’s native mammals as previously thought. The study comes as the Federal Government conducts an inquiry into the problem of feral and domestic cats in Australia and considers the use of dangerous gene drive technology to try to control their numbers. While it is politically...

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‘Miracle cows’ highlight risks of gene editing

They were the poster children of the gene editing revolution. In 2014, the US company Recombinetics announced they had developed gene edited hornless dairy cattle. They argued that the genetic modification was just a small genetic ‘tweak’ and that their cattle shouldn’t be subject to onerous safety assessments or regulation. Really this was just a way of speeding up natural breeding – or ‘precision breeding’ as...

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