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Gene-Editing Food Plans for England Are GM “Sleight of Hand” Say Critics

Hoping to fend off concerns about eating ‘gene-edited’ food, the British government claims the process it plans to legalise is different to GM — or genetic modification. With supporters claiming it will be good for planet, people, and pockets, Westminster insists “editing” genes is safe and, unlike GM, won’t share genetic material across species.

But as the bill to introduce the technique returns for its second reading in Parliament on Wednesday, the distinction has been branded a ‘conceptual sleight of hand’ with some leading scientists unconvinced it is the panacea for twenty-first century ills.

“There’s a little bit of conceptual sleight of hand to say it’s not any form of GM or genetic modification,” Professor Tim Benton, a biologist with independent policy institute Chatham House, told The Epoch Times.

While the National Farmers Union has welcomed the proposals, supermarkets have not yet said whether they will carry gene-edited plants, crops or animal products. But Benton thinks that, as they enter the supply chain, some will.

With the plans not applying automatically to Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland, could it benefit the Englishman or woman’s purse? Or anyone’s?