Prof Joyce Tait calls on the Scottish Government to reconsider its opposition to gene-edited crops

31 May 2022

Speaking to reporter Max Stephens from The Daily Telegraph, Innogen’s Founding Director, said that rejecting the legislation currently under consideration in England that will allow gene-edited products to be grown and sold, will mean Scotland will lose out.

Gene editing allows researchers to develop new crop varieties that could also be produced through traditional cross-breeding methods, but much more quickly. Creating varieties that are more resistant to drought, disease and pests will boost productivity and reduce the impact of agriculture on the environment.

Despite years of research showing that the technology is safe and its use on crops grown outside of the EU for over 20 years, the Scottish Government is keen to stay aligned with EU regulations, which are among the strictest in the world.

"Adopting a more proportionate approach to the regulation of gene edited crops will help reduce the adverse impact of agriculture on the environment and mitigate climate change; even the EU is considering bringing forward similar legislation for crops produced from new genomic technologies to meet its net zero target by 2050,” says Joyce Tait, Founding Director of The Innogen Institute at The University of Edinburgh.

Read the article in The Daily Telegraph here