How CRISPR/Cas & Co are being used to create new seed monopolies
4 July 2023 / A new Testbiotech report published today shows that an increasing number of patents are being filed for New GE (New Genetic Engineering, new genomic techniques, NGTs). The effects of these patents may also impact conventional plant breeding. If this development is not stopped, plant genomes will become a ‘minefield’ of patent monopolies.
EFSA factsheet on New GE published ‘just in time’ to serve political goals
30 June 2023 / Testbiotech has sent a letter to the EU Commission to express its concerns about the scientific independence of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), which may have been compromised by the EU Commission. The reason: EFSA issued a factsheet on the risks of plants obtained from new genetic engineering (New GE, new genomic techniques, NGT) and took a position supporting EU Commission plans to deregulate the technology. If these techniques are deregulated, mandatory risk assessment would, in many cases, no longer be required.
Gene scissors found to cause chaos in the genome of tomatoes
20 June 2023 / Recent scientific findings have revealed chromothripsis-like effects after the application of CRISPR/Cas in the genome of tomatoes. Chromothripsis refers to a phenomenon in which often several hundred genetic changes occur simultaneously in a 'catastrophic' event. Many sections of the genetic material can be swapped, twisted, recombined or even lost if this occurs.
Pairwise to sell mustard greens as salad leaves
25 May 2023 / The biotech company, Pairwise, has announced that it will soon bring mustard greens produced using new genetic engineering (New GE) techniques to the US market. The plants are genetically engineered with the aim of making the leaves less pungent, and the company has also applied for a patent (WO2021030738). According to a 2022 publication, New GE was used to alter 17 genes in the plant genome in parallel.