January 12, 2021


UK NFU vice president sees gene editing's benefits for farming and environment


Tom Bradshaw, the vice president of the National Farmers Union in the United Kingdom, said that new precision breeding techniques like gene editing could offer "huge benefits" to UK farming and the environment, and are important in helping the country achieve its climate change net zero goal.


Bradshaw expressed his opinion in response to an announcement that the UK government will launch a consultation on the future regulation of gene editing.


"In our drive to achieve net zero by 2040, these new tools could help us address pest and disease pressures on our crops and livestock, increasing our resilience in the event of extreme weather events, as well as reducing our impact through a more efficient use of resources, resulting in lower emissions and less waste.


"New biotechnologies are also enabling the development of foods with much more direct benefit to the public, such as healthier oils, higher vitamin content and products with a longer shelf life.


"Certainty, transparency and trust in the regulation of biotechnologies, such as gene editing, are essential for farmers and industry, society and scientists, so that safe and effective precision breeding can be delivered as part of a thriving, knowledge-based, food and farming sector and we look forward to responding to this government consultation in detail.


"We know that, on its own, gene editing will not be a silver bullet, but it could be a very important tool to help us meet the challenges for the future."


- The Pig Site