Examination of Witnesses

Part of Genetic Technology (Precision Breeding) Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 3:15 pm on 28th June 2022.

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Photo of Jo Churchill Jo Churchill The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs 3:15 pm, 28th June 2022

Q With respect, we are not talking about GM products but about gene edited products and precision breeding. Therefore, I suppose I would like to tease out why it does not work for precision-bred crops that arguably are akin to traditional breeding. In the animal world, we already have scientists at Roslin and so on working on avian flu in our bird population, and we have porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome devastating our pig population. Looking some 10 years hence, are you saying that advances to combat such diseases would not be compatible in your current system, given that those are arguably beneficial in stopping an animal dying in distress? I am trying to understand your world, if you see what I mean. It will be quite difficult to undo the potential benefits.