The National Farmers Union says the Canadian Food Inspection 
Agency’s gene editing regulatory proposal is not based on science. | Reuters/Shannon VanRaes photo

Gene editing process not transparent

Canada is deciding how to regulate gene-edited plants, and is largely proposing not to. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency is responsible for regulating genetically modified plants for environmental safety under the Seeds Act Regulations — Part V. These regulations define what is considered a “plant with novel traits” (PNTs) and how they are regulated. The […] Read more

British prime minister Boris Johnson has promised to ease 
restrictions on genetically modified and gene-edited crops now that the country has left the European Union and its strict rules on the technology.  | Reuters illustration

British scientists experiment with gene editing

CRISPR-Cas9 technology has been used to determine that increasing glucosinolate levels in crops can improve nutrition

When United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson came to power in July 2019 during the country’s Brexit transition to separate from the European Union, he pledged to sidestep Europe’s grip on curtailing development of genetically modified and gene-edited foods. Since then, field trials of gene-edited brassica crops conducted by scientists at the John Innes Centre […] Read more

The study of the development and progression of human cancer in a suitable animal model is the focus of research that includes the genetic modification of chickens. | File photo

Genetic scissors used on pigs and chickens

Using CRISPR technology to genetically modify animals could allow researchers to better study disease resistance

Researchers at the Technical University of Munich in Germany have used gene-editing to alter certain genes in chickens and pigs. CRISPR/Cas9 technology enables researchers to target specific organs or tissues without the need to generate germline-modified animals. Pigs share a high physiological similarity with humans compared to mice, the most common disease model. They are […] Read more


The author argues that Health Canada is proposing a non-approval process for gene edited products that will erode trust in the food system. | File photo

Maintaining public trust in food system requires public regulation

Millions of dollars and countless hours spent building public trust could be undone if Health Canada finalizes its proposed new regulatory guidance for products of gene editing (also called genome editing). Despite biotechnology industry complaints that regulation is just red tape that hampers competitiveness, companies rely on the legitimacy that government regulation provides. If the […] Read more

A study recently published by the European Commission says current legislation on genetically modified organisms adopted in 2001 is not up to the task of regu-lating gene-edited crops and is in need of modernization. | Getty Images

EU appears to soften gene editing stance

The European Union appears to be backtracking on its stance that gene-edited crops should be treated the same way as genetically modified crops. A study recently published by the European Commission says current legislation on genetically modified organisms adopted in 2001 is not up to the task of regulating gene-edited crops and is in need […] Read more


The government is asking for interested parties to put in their two cents. For farmers, these regulations are worth a lot more than that. | Getty Images

Canadian gene editing rule deserves farmer support

While it might be arriving at seeding time, it might also be worth having some say. Canada’s proposed rules for gene-edited crops are up for discussion for the next month or so and, so far, things are looking good for a science-based outcome, one that is compatible with other major exporters including the United States. […] Read more

To develop the new guidelines, Health Canada experts reviewed the science around gene-edited crops and concluded that the technology is safe for human consumption and the environment. | Getty Images

Health Canada declares gene editing safe

The ruling is expected to give Canadian producers access 
to the same types of plant breeding available in other countries

Canadian farmers may soon be growing gene-edited crops. That’s because Health Canada has declared that gene-editing technology is safe. Last week, Health Canada proposed new rules to oversee plant breeding innovation, including gene editing. Within the proposed guidelines, released March 25, federal scientists say that gene editing is just as safe as conventional plant breeding. […] Read more

To develop the new guidelines, Health Canada experts reviewed the science around gene-edited crops and concluded that the technology is safe for human consumption and the environment. | Getty Images

Gene edited crops are safe: Health Canada

UPDATED: March 26, 2021 – 1425 CST – adds audio comments from Erin Gowriluk, executive director of the Grain Growers of Canada Health Canada has declared that gene-edited crops are safe. On March 25, the department launched a public consultation for what it’s calling a “Proposed new guidance pieces for the Novel Foods Regulation, focused […] Read more


Burnt bread contains a compound known as acrylamide, a chemical that can cause cancer. Plant scientists in England have found a way to reduce the cancer risk from toasted bread using gene editing. | Robert Arnason photo

Gene editing reduces burnt toast risk

Burnt toast — it has a nasty smell that lingers in the house and could be a threat to your health. Burnt bread contains a compound known as acrylamide, a chemical that can cause cancer. The darker the toast, the more acrylamide in the bread. While most people toss black toast in the trash, some […] Read more

American scientists are worried that new U.S. rules to govern GMOs make a distinction between genetic modification and gene editing.  | File photo

Researchers want GMO transparency

There has long been consumer interest in genetically modified food, including criticism that there is not enough public information about GM and gene edited crops in the food supply. Now, researchers at North Carolina State University are calling for a coalition of the biotech industry, government, non-government organizations, trade organizations and academic experts to tackle […] Read more