Genetically modified organism – 6 Toros 6 Fri, 24 Sep 2021 12:06:07 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Genetically modified organism – 6 Toros 6 32 32 Large-scale genetic repeat variations contribute to height and other human traits Fri, 24 Sep 2021 12:06:07 +0000

Credit: Suzanna Hamilton, Broad Communications

A new study has found that certain genetic changes involving long repeat sequences in the human genome can affect a variety of health-related traits.

Geneticists are studying how differences in DNA sequences between individuals affect individuals over the past decade Disease risk And other properties are primarily focused on one type of variation, the one-letter modification. Today, new research reveals how larger genetically modified organisms significantly contribute to human traits.

In this study by researchers at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and Harvard Medical School, genetic alterations called tandem variable number repeats (VNTRs) were associated with about 20 characteristics, including the waist and curl of the hair. It turned out to be strongly related. , And the risk of heart and kidney disease. VNTRs are sections of the genome that vary in length from 7 to thousands of base pairs and are repeated over and over in different individuals.

The team expected connections between the VNTR and the traits, but were surprised at the power of those connections. “The VNTR that we studied ultimately became the largest or second-largest genomic contributor to the trait,” said an associate professor at Harvard Medical School and associate member of the Broad Institute, co-author of the study. said Po-Ru Loh. .. “It was a real surprise.”

The result is, ChemistryPaving the way for a deeper genetic understanding of how genetics affect human traits and diseases, and also presents new ways for scientists to study repeated genetic mutations on a larger scale. ..

Presentation of VNTRS

The role of larger genomic changes such as VNTR has been studied over the past decade. Because VNTRs are larger and more complex changes, the usual methods used to study genetic variation overlook the contribution of VNTRs to human traits.

To address this issue, Loh’s lab developed a new tool to analyze human exome sequencing data and examine potential VNTRs. Together with Steve McCarroll, a member of the Broad’s Institute, director of genome neurobiology at the Stanley Center for Psychiatry in Broad and professor at Harvard Medical School, they evaluated the human genome. They assessed whether these VNTR length variations were associated with traits by studying the genetics data of approximately 415,000 UK Biobank participants.

Researchers have found that the five VNTRs contribute to a number of properties, often showing strong associations that have not been reported before. One of the VNTRs was in the LPA gene, which encodes a lipoprotein (a) and is associated with a risk of cardiovascular disease. The team’s analysis analyzed how this VNTR, along with other LPA variants, accounted for 90% of genetic mutations at the lipoprotein level (a).

The team also found that the VNTR of the ACAN gene, which encodes a component of cartilage, is related to height. The VNTR length difference for this gene appears to alter the height by up to 3.2 cm. “Our results show that these VNTRs can have very strong effects,” said Bob Handsaker, researcher and lead co-author of the study at McCarroll Labs. “There is more evidence that these complex regions of the genome are really important and may require further research.”

One of the limitations of this study is that the population of UK Biobank is predominantly of European origin. The authors stress that data from a more diverse cohort needs to be investigated to learn more about the role of large-scale genetic alterations such as VNTR. It is also important to study the DNA of a sick person. “It would be very interesting to explore the VNTRs in other cohorts rich in specific biological findings, such as specific diseases,” said a postdoctoral researcher and lead co-author of the study in Loh’s lab. Ronen Mukamel said.

In addition, all 118 VNTRs studied by the researchers were found in the protein coding region of the genome. They say studying VNTRs in other regions of the genome, such as non-coding regions that regulate gene expression, is also essential to understanding how VNTRs affect human characteristics. ..

The team hopes their research will give other researchers a chance to dig deeper into VNTR. “We’ve really only scratched the surface,” Loh said. “There are many more. ”

Under-studied mutations have a significant impact on gene expression

For more information:
Ronen E. Mukamel et al, repetitive polymorphisms encoding proteins strongly shape various human phenotypes. Chemistry.. Online September 23, 2021. DOI: 10.1126 / science.abg8289

Provided by
Broad Institute at MIT and Harvard

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Discover the Serre Red educational center in a 360-degree virtual tour Wed, 22 Sep 2021 12:10:14 +0000

Wageningen University & Research (WUR) is commissioning a new leading international research and education center. Serre Red is located on the WUR campus and is unique due to its size and security measures. The establishment is only accessible under strict conditions. Now, thanks to a 360-degree virtual tour, everyone can take a look and get to know the Serre Red researchers and their experiments.

Greenhouse Red is an “all-electric” greenhouse complex from Unifarm (part of the Wageningen Plant Sciences Group) which is used for educational and basic research purposes on plant diseases caused by viruses, bacteria and fungi. , among others, and for research on genetically modified plants with the highest level of safety.

“Plant diseases are a major threat to our food security; at the same time, due to population growth, we see that agriculture will have to produce much more in the coming decades. We want to achieve this in a way that keeps our planet habitable and stops the loss of biodiversity. This challenge can only be solved through extensive research and education at the highest level. With Serre Red, we make this possible within WUR, ”says Ernst van den Ende, Group Director Plant Sciences at WUR.

One of a kind
What makes Serre Red unique in the world is its size (4000 m2 of greenhouses), the partitioning of the complex and the high level of research, both in disease detection (quarantine level) and in genetic modification (level 3). Thus, each of the 63 compartments (ranging from 15 to 52 m2) meets the highest safety requirements. They are all equipped with individual air conditioning, air filtration and access locks. Most of the technical equipment is installed in the cellars under the complex to optimize the incidence of light and avoid shadows.

Other features include LED lighting, insulated double glazing, screening, hot and cold storage, and autoclaves, which sterilize materials leaving the greenhouse, such as waste and water. Due to the high quality insulation and waterproofing, all compartments in the complex can be used side by side for different lines of research without the studies influencing each other.

Virtual reality tour
Construction on Serre Red began in early 2019. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, it was decided not to officially open Serre Red but to do a VR tour in which WUR employees can present their research to Serre Red. .

Petra van Bekkum, Ilse Houwers and Peter Bonants talk about research into pest quarantine pests on plants that are limited or not (yet) present in the Netherlands, which poses a threat to the international trade in horticultural crops.

Yuling Bai talks about making tomato plants more resistant to pathogenic bacteria through genetic modification. For this, precision CRISPR-Cas technology is used, which can, for example, be used to turn specific genes on and off.

Harold Meijer guides visitors through researching old banana varieties for genes that could be useful in the development of new banana varieties resistant to the devastating banana diseases, Black Sigkota disease and Panama disease.

Take the VR tour here.

For more information:
Wageningen University and Research

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WHITLEY: Why are the NH Pols attacking chemicals that hospitals use to save lives? Wed, 22 Sep 2021 00:13:30 +0000

The emotion of a human being is like an elephant, while our reason is like a little rider on the back, according to academic Jonathan Haidt. Of course, the rider may be able to control the elephant, but if the elephant says no and digs in his heels, there is nothing the rider can do about it.

What is really frightening, however, is when the elephant is convinced that it is the one behaving reasonably: a phrase like “believe the science” sounds somewhat cult given that science is based on verifiable evidence. rather than beliefs. We see it now with a debate over a group of chemicals that the so-called progressives have made haram, even though these chemicals are essential to our modern quality of life.

Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) are a diverse family of chemicals manufactured in the United States since the 1940s. According to the EPA, PFAS are used in a variety of industries, including food packaging, commercial household products, electronics, paints, etc.

Now. Despite the fact that said environmental protection agency does not mention PFAS in its main list of common sources of drinking water contaminants, environmentalists have targeted it. Currently, the PFAS Action Act requires the EPA to designate PFAS chemicals as hazardous substances and remove them from our daily lives.

The PFAS Action Act is co-sponsored in the House by New Hampshire Representatives Annie Kuster and Chris Pappas, and in the Senate by Senator Maggie Hassan and Jeanne Shaheen. They have all made attacks on PFAS a regular part of their political rhetoric.

Rather than acknowledging the science that there are over 5,000 different types of PFAS that should be treated differently, this hastily drafted piece of legislation puts them all – in rather unscientific ways – into one basket.

The PFAS action law would drain money and resources, and serve as a gift to greedy trial lawyers pushing baseless claims.

If history is any guide, broad product bans end up doing more harm than good. Government overreactions fueled by emotion and media anecdotes tend to create more chaos and confusion than if public policy were based on logic instead.

When the ridiculously named mad cow disease was discovered in 2003, panic erupted around the world. American ranchers and processors lost an estimated $ 11 billion from 2004 to 2007 after import bans … even though there have only been six mad cow cases since 2003. Almost as mad as New Zealand in full closure due to a case of COVID.

Another example is the “beepocalypse”, when genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and insecticides have been blamed for letting large numbers of bees abandon their colonies. Current science suggests viruses were to blame, and bee populations have been on the rise for more than a decade. However, attacks and baseless bans of GMOs and insecticides have damaged the agricultural sector across the world.

These overreactions are like, pardon the idiom, killing a fly with an elephant gun. Similar actions against PFAS would wreak havoc on the global economy.

We wouldn’t have affordable smartphones without PFASs, which play a role in everything from semiconductors to data center coolants. Currently, the world is suffering from a global semiconductor shortage, and heavy regulations would increase costs for the 275 million smartphone users in the United States. Moreover, they would make mobile devices unaffordable for the unbanked people of the developing world whose phones allow cheap access to financial services they never would have had before.

PFAS chemicals also play a vital role in the medical industry. In addition to their use in a variety of life-saving medical devices, PFAS polymers are essential for gowns and drapes, as their contamination resistance properties reduce infections. Single-use gown and drape sets offer the highest rates of disease control, according to the American Journal of Infection Control, and are only affordable with PFAS.

Considering the COVID-sized elephant in the room, it seems like now is a really bad time to make it easier for people to catch illnesses when they are in the hospital.

These compounds even play an essential role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions from cars. Modern on-road emissions standards would be unachievable without PFAS, according to PlasticsEurope.

In addition, thanks to the cleaning efforts of DuPont, Chemours, 3M, Daikin Industries Ltd. and others, the amount of pollution from PFAS is decreasing. Since 2000, average blood levels of PFOS and PFOA have declined by 84 and 70 percent, according to the CDC, while other recent reports showing that U.S. water bodies contain only traces of PFAS, and are on the declinee.

The histrionic and grandiose efforts to tackle this group of benign but beneficial chemicals have no scientific basis. America couldn’t afford this kind of over-regulation under normal circumstances, let alone while we are recovering from the coronavirus. The elephant must let the rider lead this time.

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GM Beans and Beyond: How Does It Work and Why Does It Matter? Tue, 21 Sep 2021 12:10:04 +0000

The application of biotechnology to agriculture has resulted in many benefits for producers and consumers which tend to be overlooked or unknown to the general public. This technology has helped make pest control and weed management safer and easier, while protecting crops.

In terms of improved weed control, herbicide tolerant soybeans allow the use of reduced risk herbicides that break down faster in the soil and are non-toxic at standard doses to wildlife and humans. Herbicide tolerant crops are particularly compatible with no-till or reduced-tillage farming systems that help preserve the topsoil from erosion.

Producers and consumers are also looking for ways to be better stewards of the environment and to make things safer for the farmer – this can be done with genetically modified crops – aka GMOs.

Image of Bobex-73, Shutterstock

Have you ever wondered about the future of soy and its parents? Soy is currently the only genetically modified organism (GMO) grain commercially available in the United States, but other new technologies are on the horizon! For example, Brazil is experimenting with the genetic modification of pinto beans due to a devastating virus; therefore, this GMO could significantly increase the yield of pinto bean while simultaneously decreasing wastes from contaminated crops.

In the United States, gene editing technology is on the rise compared to gene editing by other methods. Soybeans modified by the gene editing method may be the new industry standard for speeding up and streamlining soybean modification and production. In addition, genetic modification could also improve overall plant growth and the nutritional profile of the final food product.

Traditionally, soybeans have been modified using transgenic technology, which involves transferring genes (such as genes related to herbicide resistance) from one organism to another. It could be from another plant, soil, or another natural organism. Genome editing (also known as gene editing), however, is different and seems to be more accepted by the general public. Rather than inserting new genes into the existing genetic profile of soybeans, scientists are altering the genetic structure of soybeans. Genome editing makes it possible to add, remove or modify genetic material at particular locations in the genome.

In some cases, scientists “activate” part of the genome, which protects the plant from an insect!

One of the most popular methods used for gene editing is called CRISPR (Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats). The CRISPR protein used “searches” for the appropriate gene sought by the breeder in soybean and rearranges it such that the soybean then carries the desired trait. This could be herbicide resistance for example, without adding a new gene to the soybean plant. Some scientists believe that this could be a simpler and more efficient way to modify soybeans so that it has the qualities that benefit farmers and the general population.

Genetic modification through selective agriculture and traditional techniques of cross-pollinating plants have been around for generations, but modern biotechnology has made this process easier and more efficient for modern agricultural production. GM crops can benefit the United States’ food supply and the safety of producers and the environment. Genetically modified soybeans make up the majority of soybeans grown in the United States due to their usefulness and versatility in the food supply. This emerging new technology in gene modification makes this process even more desirable, as it can continue to drive progress with even greater efficiency than traditional plant breeding techniques.

What once took many years to achieve can now be achieved in a fraction of the time with GMO methods. One of the main goals of agricultural biotechnology is to feed a growing world population in a more sustainable way. Some current international farming methods are inefficient because they require larger amounts of water, fertilizers and pesticides. Biotechnology is “a tool in the toolbox” to solve these problems starting at the seed level. This helps the producer and the environment and lowers the cost of products or specialty products to the consumer.

This technology has the potential to revolutionize other fields beyond agriculture, including the field of medicine. For more information and FAQs on agricultural biotechnology, visit the US Department of Agriculture or the National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

Michelle Miller, The Farm Babe, is a farmer, speaker and writer who has worked for years with row crops, beef cattle and sheep. She believes education is essential to bridge the gap between farmers and consumers.

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Lord Frost mocks EU approach to genetically modified organisms | Sciences | New Mon, 20 Sep 2021 11:56:59 +0000

GMOs are made when the genetic material of foods and plants is artificially modified to give it a new property, such as a plant’s resistance to a disease, insect or drought, a plant’s tolerance to a herbicide, improving the quality or nutritional value of a food, increased crop productivity). The EU’s GMO approach is described as a precautionary approach, which requires pre-market authorization for any GMO to be placed on the market and post-market environmental surveillance for any authorized GMO.

But Lord Frost thinks this approach is “too restrictive”.

He said in a statement to the House of Lords on September 16:
“Brexit is now a fact. This country is now embarked on a great journey.

“We each have the opportunity to make this new trip a success. To make us as a country more satisfied, more prosperous, more united and I hope everyone will join us in doing it.

He also said the UK government plans to create a “growth-friendly, trusted data rights regime” that would replace the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

He said that this new regime would be “more proportionate and less burdensome”.

He also said, “I make no apologies for standing up for freedom, free enterprise and the freedom to think and debate things.

“I think it’s obvious that free debate, free enterprise, free economies, and the ability to change governments will always benefit countries that have these things.”

Lord Frost has promised a “review of the inherited approach to genetically modified organisms”.

READ MORE: Tsunami warning as Britain in sights of Greenland landslide

He said: “Let us free the extraordinary UK bioscience sector from anti-genetic modification rules. Let’s develop the late blight resistant crops that will feed the world.

In 2018, the European Court of Justice’s ban on genome editing in agriculture was the source of much criticism and was said to have disagreed with mainstream scientific opinion, both in Europe and elsewhere. of the world according to some scientists.

Lord Frost said the Environment Secretary would present plans for reforming the regulation of genetically modified organisms shortly.

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How science can recreate a mammoth species that went extinct 4,000 years ago Sun, 19 Sep 2021 16:28:48 +0000

The challenge The American Colossal, launched on Monday, will attempt to meet using genetic manipulation techniques, is for the mammoth, a species that became extinct 4,000 years ago, to retreat to arctic soil.

“Colossal will launch an effective and efficient extinction model and be the first company to apply advanced genetic modification techniques to reintegrate hairy mammoths into the arctic tundra,” the company said.

Extinction, the concept of creating an animal similar to an extinct species through genetics, is not unanimous in the scientific community. Some researchers doubt its usefulness or worry about the risks of its application.

Colossal, created by businessman Ben Lam and geneticist George Church, will attempt to insert DNA sequences from a woolly mammoth (derived from a remnant conserved in Siberian soil) into the genome of elephant d ‘Asia, to create a hybrid species. The DNA of the Asian elephant and the hairy mammoth is 99.6% similar, the company said on its website.

Colossal expects the creation and reintroduction of these hybrid snakes to the tundra to “restore extinct ecosystems, which could help combat and even reverse the effects of climate change.”

The modified woolly mammoth could “breathe new life into the arctic grasslands,” which the company says captures carbon dioxide and removes methane, two greenhouse gases.

The biotech company was able to raise $ 15 million in private funding to achieve its goal, which some experts have questioned. “There will be a lot of problems with this process,” biologist Beth Shapiro told The New York Times. “It’s not an extinction. There will never be a giant again on Earth. If it succeeds, it will be a fictional elephant, a completely new, genetically modified organism. Tori Heridge, biologist and paleontologist at the Natural History Museum in London. wrote on Twitter.

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Is Nebraska Sorghum the Next Great Alternative Crop in Nebraska? | To concentrate Sun, 19 Sep 2021 08:00:00 +0000

“It’s really a dry weather crop,” Burr said. “It takes less than inches of water for sorghum to produce that first bushel. So in some years when dryland maize is not producing anything, there would be at least some sorghum to harvest. “

Sorghum is a cereal crop, similar to maize.

“These are two grass-like plants that produce grain,” Burr said. “In the past, it’s been used pretty much as a feedstock for feedlots, hog farms and things like that.

“What’s exciting about this is that we are starting to see edible grain sorghum coming out. “

Sorghum is gluten-free, Burr said, which is becoming part of the diets of a growing number of people around the world.

“It’s not gluten-free and would also be a non-GMO (genetically modified organism),” Burr said. “We have a growing segment of our population that is interested in eating non-GMO grains, whether good or bad, that’s the way things are going. “

Burr agrees with Blum that the Transformers could move to Nebraska.

“We have quite a few acres of sorghum north of us in the Dakotas and south of us in Kansas and Texas,” Burr said. “It’s a little warmer environment there. “

He said sorghum seems to do best in warmer environments.

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Could gene-editing chickens prevent future pandemics? | Gene modification Sat, 18 Sep 2021 07:00:00 +0000

Diseases such as bird flu cause millions of birds to be slaughtered every year. But that doesn’t have to be the case for much longer.

Vaccines are a preventative strategy used in some countries, but they do not prevent birds from becoming infected, contracting mild versions of the disease and passing it on to healthy chickens. In fact, this imperfect shield can make matters worse, causing the virus to mutate in order to escape the vaccine.

And an even more sinister possibility is that the viruses that plague domestic birds could spread to humans with lethal effect.

Scientists are therefore working on a more permanent solution: gene editing, which is designed to alter specific genes in an organism to improve certain characteristics or inhibit others. It is sometimes grouped in the same category as genetic modification, which involves the transfer of a gene from one organism to another.

Genetically modified organisms are tightly regulated in the EU, due to long-standing fears of unintended effects on the environment and public health. Some campaign groups say gene editing carries similar risks.

The use of gene editing techniques “could not only exacerbate the negative effects of industrial agriculture on nature, animals and humans, but it could effectively transform both nature and ourselves (by food we eat) into a gigantic genetic engineering experiment with unknown effects, potentially irrevocable results, ”Greenpeace said in a statement earlier this year.

Proponents, meanwhile, say gene editing technology is just a more precise version of traditional selective breeding of animals.

At the heart of the gene editing solution is the Crispr tool, designed to work like a pair of genetic scissors. This tool could be used, for example, to remove a section of chicken DNA in order to prevent the bird flu virus from settling in cells and replicating itself.

Professor Helen Sang, a geneticist at the Roslin Institute at the University of Edinburgh, is part of a team of scientists working on the early stages of such a project. The Crispr technology is effective because it allows the evaluation of the modification in cells grown in the laboratory – if these results seem encouraging, it can then be tested in birds, she says.

Almost everything we eat has been selectively raised – from crops to poultry. But in many places, genetically modified crops are common. In the United States, for example, most soybeans and corn are designed to maximize production. In 2015, US regulators also granted the first approval of an animal (an Atlantic salmon) whose DNA had been scientifically altered for human consumption. Disease resistant pigs should be next on the list.

Selective breeding fundamentally alters the genetics of an organism but is seen as natural, while the use of gene editing technology for the same purpose is seen as unnatural, noted Dr Laurence Tiley, molecular virologist in the department. of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Cambridge.

Tiley and Sang’s research a decade ago quickly succeeded in genetically modifying chickens to prevent the spread of bird flu. But they didn’t proceed with the project after realizing the technology wasn’t robust enough to completely prevent birds from catching the flu in the first place.

In the years that followed, Crispr technology grew from relative obscurity to a revolution in biomedical research, clinical medicine and agriculture.

Obviously, these gene editing tools do not match the intended nature, but are very precise, explains Tiley. “You can make exactly the change you want in exactly the right place. And you can check it … and confirm that there is nothing else that you have made further changes to.

Earlier this year, a UK government consultation opened the door to genetic modification of crops and livestock in England. Changes to the current strict rules – which originate in the EU and make editing of genes for crops and livestock nearly impossible – aim to bring widespread benefits to consumers and farmers, including healthier nutrition, use less antibiotics and better animal welfare.

But campaigners say the easing of the rules could be worse for animal welfare, for example, if the technology was used to promote growth rather than animal health, or to allow livestock to be kept in shelters. overcrowded conditions.

It’s not a situation either / or, says Tiley, adding, “I think there’s a clear case to improve animal production… to reduce the transmission of infectious diseases. But there are some things that no matter how hard you try, you’re going to have a disease problem, and if you can genetically modify those problems, then it’s a good thing to do.

In rich countries, chicken consumption has increased by 70% since 1990 and continues to grow, with 65 billion chickens consumed worldwide each year. Until an alternative protein becomes the default solution, the traditional way of consuming protein must be improved, says Yehuda Elram, director of Israeli startup EggXYt, which is working on gene editing tools to modify genes. DNA fragments in chickens to attack. viruses that cause bird flu.

“With Covid, the world is becoming more and more familiar with what science can do to solve very difficult problems. We are trying to do our part to improve the way chickens are produced, to improve animal welfare, ”says Elram.

It is not as easy to confer disease resistance in pigs via gene editing, mainly due to the very different physiology of the avian egg compared to mammals. The technology also needs to be refined to be made less laborious, says Jiři Hejnar of the Czech Academy of Sciences.

Hejnar’s lab published encouraging proof of concept data in early 2020 describing the use of Crispr to make chickens resistant to avian leukosis virus (ALV), which can lead to symptoms such as weakness, diarrhea and tumor formation in poultry. But the project was scrapped due to a lack of commercial interest, he said.

Even as science advances, the business case for such advancements is hampered by the lack of global regulatory consensus and consumer acceptance, the scientists said.

We have the tools to develop disease resistant chickens, but it’s important to bring the public with the trip, says Tiley. “If someone jumps into a room and yells fire, people tend to react. And so if someone says GM food is dangerous, people tend to take it at face value, ”he says.

But, the Covid experience may have impressed people that pandemics can be very bad, he says: “If you choose your species carefully and your goals, in an easily justifiable way, let’s say bird flu in chickens, arguments you can make that are persuasive enough.

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]]> 0 UK government to approve gene editing in farm animals Fri, 17 Sep 2021 16:08:05 +0000

Reports suggest the UK could see GM animal products in supermarkets within five years. CREDIT: Photo by Judith Prins on Unsplash

Reports suggest the UK could see GM animal products in supermarkets within five years.

It has been suggested that the UK may see GM animal products on our supermarket shelves within five years. It was reported that the government would respond to a consultation on the issue at the end of the month and intend to repeal legacy EU laws governing the use of the practice in England.

According to the RSPCA, gene editing could have potentially important consequences for animal welfare. Managing Director Chris Sherwood said: “This is extremely worrying news. We have serious concerns about gene editing and its implications for animals. The impact of changing an animal’s genetic material is very unpredictable, and we just don’t know the long-term consequences. This means that there is a real risk that welfare problems will be passed on to generations of animals.

The government says gene editing could provide the answer to more sustainable and efficient agriculture, healthier diets, reduced environmental impact, reduced disease and reduced dependence on antibiotics. All of these issues are critically important, but not enough is yet known about gene editing to suggest that this is a solution to these issues.

This practice could lead to the creation of a whole new set of welfare and ethical issues, with the risk of pushing animals beyond their biological limits or further intensifying husbandry systems. Going forward at this stage also risks losing public trust.

If the government is on the verge of authorizing the application of this potentially harmful technology to farm animals, this goes against the ambitions of its “Action Plan for Animal Welfare” launched by Defra This year.

We believe there are more ethical ways to address these issues, such as reducing waste and improving animal husbandry, “eat less, eat better,” by reducing our dependence on food consumption. animal products and moving away from intensive agriculture.

Leaving the EU has provided an opportunity to set the highest standards of well-being and we believe that allowing gene editing would be a serious setback for well-being. It also calls into question UK food exports to the EU, which strictly bans imports of genetically modified food products.

The UK government’s current consultation on this issue proposes to relax rules on gene editing, which could see genetically modified (GE) farm animals allowed in England, and GM products sold in Britain. because they would no longer be defined as GMOs. (Genetically modified organism).

In Wales, the Welsh government has yet to take any action to allow genetic modification of farm animals – instead acknowledging “considerable debate within the scientific community” and favoring a science-based precautionary approach.

However, even if the Welsh government does not allow the production of genetically modified foods, it likely could not prevent them from appearing in shops in Wales due to the new rules of the UK Home Market Act.

Thanks for reading, and don’t forget to check out The Euro Weekly News for all your up-to-date local and international news.

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Agriculture and food set to be on COP26 agenda, say Scots Fri, 17 Sep 2021 06:12:46 +0000
Marc Buckingham
Marc Buckingham

Westminster said the move, which was part of its announcement on plans to capitalize on new Brexit freedoms, would enable more sustainable and efficient agriculture that would help produce healthier and more nutritious food.

Many scientists had considered that the EU’s decision in 2018 to impose the same strict controls on the cultivation of genetically modified crops as those applied to genetically modified crops was too restrictive.

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They claimed that existing genes were simply altered rather than foreign DNA introduced into such organisms – and the result only accelerated the results that could be obtained by normal breeding techniques.

In recent weeks, several reports have been published highlighting the potential of genetically modified crops to contribute to the sustainability of agriculture, providing more resilient and disease resistant crops that require fewer pesticides and less fertilizer – and which would help to solve the problems of climate change.

Commenting on the announcement, NFU Scotland said that while gene editing was just another breeding technique, it provided access to traits that could benefit animal welfare, public health, environment and farmers.

“In the 21st century, a new breeding revolution can help tackle the biggest challenges of our time, the biggest one right now being climate change,” said union agricultural policy manager David Michie.

“There are a lot of things that need to be done to meet the challenges we are currently facing, and GE is a tool that should be removed and used to move towards a net zero future.”

The announcement came as a new survey of UK attitudes to farming issues found 62% of Scots polled agreed that farmers should be able to benefit from innovations that could help them play their full role in tackling the climate crisis, despite the Scottish administration’s resistance to allowing the use of genetically modified crops.

The YouGov survey also found that 70% of people living in Scotland were concerned that Britain depended on imports for almost half of its food supply, with 88% wanting to eat more local produce because of the issues. sustainability and greenhouse gas emissions. grows.

The report commissioned by the Agricultural Biotechnology Council – an umbrella group representing four of the country’s largest agrochemical and breeding technology companies, BASF, Bayer, Corteva and Syngenta – interviewed 2,000 adults across the UK, including 181 of Scotland.

CBA President Mark Buckingham said British farmers have helped the country through some of its most difficult times in recent months, ensuring a secure supply of healthy, good quality and affordable fresh produce.

A total of 84% of Scots also wanted better education on the farm-to-fork food journey and believed that children should learn how food is grown and produced so that they leave school with an understanding of the implications of agriculture for health and sustainability. .

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