Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

Australia's Gene Editing Policy Approach

Australia has announced that it will not be regulating the gene editing of plants, animals, and human cell lines as long as no new genetic material is incorporated, Nature News reports.

It adds that this is a change from Australia's previous stance in which any gene editing work needed approval from an accredited biosafety committee. But with these new rules, if gene-editing tools are used to initiate a DNA break that is then repaired naturally, then approval is not needed, according to Nature News. Gene editing that relies on the use of a template, though, will be subject to those regulations, it adds.

Australian researchers tell Nature News that this is a middle approach, as compared to stricter rules in the European Union and more relaxed ones in the US. Last July, the European Court of Justice ruled that gene editing is a type of genetic modification and, as such, is governed by the GMO Directive, whereas the US Department of Agriculture announced in March 2018 that it had no plans to regulate gene-edited plants.