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abc welcomes Genetic Technologies (Precision Breeding) Bill

abc welcomes the announcement of the Genetic Technologies (Precision Breeding) Bill in today’s Queen’s Speech. This is an important next step in the UK’s approach to the future regulation of plant breeding techniques. Post-Brexit, it is positive to see the UK take the opportunity to re-join the mainstream of global agricultural innovation and adopt the science-based regulatory approaches taken by countries like Canada and Australia.

While the introduction of this Bill is significant, this is only the first step towards using our scientific knowledge to face up to local and global challenges. The Government must also prioritise setting out the path towards the practical use of these techniques, otherwise the full benefits will not be realised. In light of a rising cost of living and concerns around our future food security, agricultural technologies have an integral part to play in ensuring farmers can continue to produce nutritious, sustainable food to feed an ever-growing population.

As our research shows, embracing agricultural technologies offers wide-ranging economic, environmental and social benefits. Innovations like gene editing have the potential to help us tackle climate change, food insecurity and enable Britain’s farming sector to thrive, all whilst maintaining the highest levels of environmental and consumer safety. YouGov data shows 81% of Britons agree farmers should be able to benefit from innovations that could help them play their full role in meeting the UK’s net zero ambitions by 2050.