United Kingdom: Agricultural Biotechnology Annual
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Since January 1, 2021, the UK has been responsible for authorizing products of genetic engineering (GE) using retained EU law. Eight GE crops are currently out for public consultation as part of the second tranche of approvals under the new UK approval process, with more still pending. The first tranche of approvals were passed in May 2022, some nine months after they were approved in the EU. Since Brexit, the UK Government has reduced the administrative burden on plant field trials, and wheat and barley trial crops have been planted under the new system. The Genetic Technology (Precision Breeding) Bill is progressing through Parliament and there is political will to explore a more proportionate approach to regulation of plants and animals derived from simple genome editing as well as other plant and animal products that could have been achieved by traditional breeding methods.