01 Dec 2021
Genome editing and farmed animal breeding: social and ethical issues
This report examines the social and ethical issues raised by the potential use of genome editing technologies in farmed animal breeding.
A report of the dialogue (PDF) was published on 12 October 2022.
The topic guides and summary of information provided to participants and the executive summary of the report are available via the links on the left hand side of this page. You can also read the press release here.
The dialogue involved 80 members of the public and took place between May and July 2022. It was delivered by research consultancy Basis Social and overseen by an advisory group chaired by Sarah Mukherjee MBE.
Genome editing - known commonly as ‘gene editing’ - is the precise, targeted alteration of a DNA sequence in a living cell. It enables changes to the genome - which aim to secure certain traits in new generations of farmed animals - to be made much faster than through traditional breeding methods.
Research in this area is well advanced, and the UK Parliament is currently debating Government proposals for amending the regulation of some genome edited organisms, including plants and animals, which could pave the way for the introduction of genome editing into the food and farming system.
Pete is part of the senior management team. He is responsible for leading Council projects and inquiries and speaking on behalf the Council on a range of ethical issues. Before joining the Council in 2011, he worked on scientific development and bioethics at the Department of Health, where he led the Human Genetics Commission, and on assisted reproduction and embryo research policy for the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority
Richella is responsible for the strategic and operational delivery of the Nuffield Council’s public affairs activities. She works closely with communications colleagues with the aim of raising awareness of our work amongst decision makers. Richella joined us in 2018, prior to that she worked as Director of Public Affairs for the Country Land and Business Association.
Claudia undertakes research to support the Council’s work. She also monitors developments in different areas of interest to the Council. Before joining the Council, she has been a research assistant in the field of cognitive neuroscience and completed a BA in Philosophy and an MSc in Clinical, Social and Cognitive Neuroscience.