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UK farm and environment ministry DEFRA published an “Explainer” document on gene editing as a guide for members of the public who want to respond to the UK government’s consultation on its plan to deregulate gene editing. It may also have been meant to assist the media, as parts of the text also occur in DEFRA’s press release for the launch of the public consultation.

Just over three weeks into the consultation the “Explainer” suddenly seemed to disappear from DEFRA’s website, possibly as a result of complaints.

There is certainly plenty to complain about. The “Explainer” is packed full of false assertions and reads like a “wish list” for the GMO lobby, presenting hypothetical “benefits” of gene editing as fact. The Cabinet Office Consultation Principles stipulate that “Consultations should be informative. Give enough information to ensure that those consulted understand the issues and can give informed responses”. They should “include validated impact assessments of the costs and benefits of the options being considered when possible".

But the information presented in the "Explainer" is extremely biased and only presents one side... see more