Plant & Food Research studies indigenous perspective of gene editing

How do indigenous people look at taking DNA from one organism and put it into another species? Scientistst from New Zealand, including a reseacher from Foodvalley Member Plant & Food Research, did a research on the ethical perspective of Maori.

In their publication in Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology, the scientistst wrote about gene editing as 'the most significant recent addition to  the modern biotechnology toolbox, bringing both profoundly challenging and enabling opportunities'. The new technology  also leads to new ethical questions.

In New Zealand gene editing is currently considered genetic modification and is subject to approval processes under the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA). This process requires decision makers to take into account Māori perspectives, the scientists point out.

Not categorically opposed

The study concluded that Māori informants were not categorically opposed to new and emerging gene editing technologies. However, they they suggest a dynamic approach to regulation is required where specific uses or types of uses are approved on a case by case basis.

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