Gene editing can bring clear benefits to the UK food and farming industry as UK agricultural moves through its fourth revolution.
But confusing gene editing with genetic modification was dangerous, speakers at both the Oxford Farming Conference (OFC) and the Oxford Real Farming Conference (ORFC) heard.
US-based communication specialist Julie Borlaug, whose grandfather Norman Borlaug was a Nobel prize winning plant breeder, said: “Firstly we have to make sure GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms) and gene editing are not in the same playbook.
“They are very different and should not be conflated in debate. If we want to make progress we have to embrace gene editing and we have to take it to the farmer or it will not work.”
Sir Mark Walport, chief executive of UK Research and Innovation, said Roslin Institute researchers were already using gene editing to breed pigs resistant to Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome and academics at John Innes were developing key traits for wheat as part of their Designing Future Wheat programme. Continue reading “‘Gene editing can bring clear benefits to UK food and farming industry’”