All Global Research articles can be read in 27 languages by activating the “Translate Website” drop down menu on the top banner of our home page (Desktop version).
UK farm and environment ministry DEFRA published an “Explainer” document on gene editing as a guide for members of the public who want to respond to the UK government’s consultation on its plan to deregulate gene editing. It may also have been meant to assist the media, as parts of the text also occur in DEFRA’s press release for the launch of the public consultation.
Just over three weeks into the consultation the “Explainer” suddenly seemed to disappear from DEFRA’s website, possibly as a result of complaints.
There is certainly plenty to complain about. The “Explainer” is packed full of false assertions and reads like a “wish list” for the GMO lobby, presenting hypothetical “benefits” of gene editing as fact. The Cabinet Office Consultation Principles stipulate that “Consultations should be informative. Give enough information to ensure that those consulted understand the issues and can give informed responses”. They should “include validated impact assessments of the costs and benefits of the options being considered when possible”.
But the information presented in the “Explainer” is extremely biased and only presents one side of the issue. No mention is made of any risks or downsides to the government’s plan to deregulate gene editing.
The “Explainer” also contains no scientific evidence at all. Quite the contrary: It flies in the face of existing evidence. That’s ironic, since the consultation itself takes the form of a call for evidence. In other words, the government doesn’t have to provide any evidence in support of its plan to deregulate gene editing, but members of the public are expected to provide evidence in support of their opposition to the plan!
GMWatch, with the help of other campaigners, has compiled this mythbuster to help the public avoid having the wool pulled over their eyes. We begin with a summary of the main points of our rebuttal of DEFRA’s leaflet, and then follow it with a word-for-word presentation of Defra’s leaflet interspersed with our rebuttal of each point.
We downloaded the “Explainer” when it first appeared and have published it on our website for your reference.