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A new analysis by A Bigger Conversation suggests that, in its haste to deregulate agricultural gene technologies, the UK government is “choosing to get it wrong” by ignoring expertise from all sides.

The analysis highlights multiple themes missed by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs’ (DEFRA) official analysis of responses to its 2021 public consultation on the regulation of genetic technologies. It shows that DEFRA's analysis was inadequate and divisive and failed to take account of public opinion.

The DEFRA public consultation on the regulation of genetic technologies was launched in January 2021 and the department’s report on its findings followed in September. At the same time the government announced that it would immediately begin a process of deregulating gene editing in England by:
* Using existing powers under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 to change the law in order to make applications for field trials for plants that have been produced by new genetic technologies simpler and less costly.
* Amending the current definition of a GMO in English law so that organisms produced by new genetic... see more