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Open letter to UK's FSA is published

A group of experts representing business, farming, certification, academia, science and civil society have lodged a formal complaint against the UK’s Food Standards Agency (FSA), raising serious concerns about its public consultation process on genetically modified "precision bred" organisms (PBOs). GMWatch is among the signatories.

The FSA consultation, launched 8 November 2023, aims to elicit the views of consumers, UK and international food/feed businesses and industry trade bodies, competent authorities (UK local authorities and port health authorities), non-government organisations/civil society and third-party assurance organisations on the FSA’s plans to create a new regulatory regime for genetically modified precision bred organisms, as part of the Genetic Technology Act 2023.

The two-tiered system proposed by the FSA will allow the majority of PBOs to enter the marketplace without a formal application process, without labelling or assessment and without end-to-end traceability. It shifts the responsibility and liability for traceability and avoidance of PBO contamination away from regulatory authorities and onto businesses and other stakeholders.

The complaint, submitted to the Agency and copied to the...