Gene-editing bill: encouraging innovation or adding complexity?


Sarah Speight

Gene-editing bill: encouraging innovation or adding complexity?

vchal /

UK legislation to streamline gene-editing technology research is promising for innovation, but presents potential complications for IP, finds Sarah Speight.

The Genetic Technology (Precision Breeding) Bill, announced in the Queen’s Speech this month, aims to take advantage of the UK’s post-Brexit position and relax the regulation around precision breeding.

Announcing the legislation in a press release on May 25, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) made the claim that the new legislation “will make the UK the best place in the world to invest in agri-food research and innovation”. 

It went on to say that the bill will “remove unnecessary barriers to research into new gene-editing technology, which for too long has been held back by the EU’s rules around gene editing, which focus on legal interpretation rather than science – hindering the UK’s world-leading agricultural research institutions”.

gene editing, Defra, patents, genetic technology