The UK government will reportedly be passing a new legislation in Parliament to reduce red tape and help the development of breakthrough technology to grow more resistant, nutritious, and productive crops.

According to reports, the Genetic Technology (Precision Breeding) Bill would eliminate unwanted barriers to research into innovative gene-editing technology, which has been held back for far too long by the gene-editing regulations of the EU. As per UK, the EU regulations are based on legal interpretation instead of science, and were hampering the UK's world-class agricultural research institutions.

Now that the country is outside of the EU and is free to pass laws that operate in its best interests, the bill will foster the creation and commercialization of precision bred animals and plants, stimulating economic growth and encouraging investment into agri-food innovation and research throughout the UK.

Precision breeding techniques, such as gene editing, have a number of advantages. They will allow UK scientists to help producers and farmers in developing plant types and animals with desirable features that could emerge naturally or through conventional breeding but in a much more precise and effective manner.

By eliminating allergens and limiting the development of hazardous substances in food, precision breeding can also make food safer. Presently, it is speculated that pests and diseases damage between 20% and 40% of all crops grown across the world.

Precision breeding has the potency to generate a disease-resistant plant and animal variants, reducing the world’s dependency on antibiotics and pesticides, as well as reducing environmental impacts and improving animal welfare.

Gideon Henderson, Defra's Chief Scientific Adviser, stated that using genetic technologies to accurately replicate breeding and upgrade crops can provide significant health, environmental, and food security benefits.

The government is pursuing a step-by-step approach, starting with plant legislation. There will be no revisions to the regulation of animals under the GMO framework until a regulatory structure to protect animal welfare is implemented.

Professor Susan Jebb, the FSA's Chair, stated that as an independent government body committed to maintaining food standards, the FSA is here to ensure that the food people eat and buy is safe, and that technological advances do not hinder progress toward a sustainable and healthy food system.

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