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Israel: Gene edited plants will not be regulated
The most recent Committee decision, of August 2016 published in March 2017, maintains that the development of plants through gene editing will be subject to regulations according to the definitions and guidelines of the Seed Act (genetically engineered plants and organisms) - 2005, whereby growing of the progeny of these plants will not be subject to these regulations as long as the applicants meet the determined criteria ensuring that foreign DNA sequences were not incorporated into plant genome.
This decision was also approved by the Plant Protection Services Administration giving the decision validation by which the progeny of plants that have undergone gene editing utilizing CRISPR / CAS9 will not be considered GMO or transgenic plants. Therefore, their cultivation will also not be subjected to the Seed Act (Genetically Modified Plants and Organisms) - 2005.
This follows the stance taken in the Commission’s decision of March 2013, which determined that plants which are the progeny of plants that underwent “targeted mutagenesis” utilizing gene editing methodology, that caused the deletion of nucleotides and were proven that there was no insertion and/or incorporation of foreign DNA into the genome of the plant, do not fall in the category of transgenic plants. Therefore, plants that are products of this technology will not be considered transgenic.
Thus, the March 2013 decision stated that “target-directed mutagenesis” produced using Danziger Innovation’s MemoGene technology, does not involve permanent modification in the DNA as a result of insertion and/or incorporation of foreign DNA into the plant genome. Therefore, plants that have undergone or plants that are the outcome of this type of mutagenesis will not be regarded transgenic plants. Also, a plant that has undergone “target-directed mutagenesis” by the MemoGene Deletion technology, shall be neither regarded transgenic, nor will its growing process be subject to the Seed Act (Genetically Modified Plants and Organisms) - 2005.
"We at, Danziger Innovations are thankful for the NCTP dedication to dealing with these crucial issues as we believe that the ongoing innovation and fast changing gene editing technologies require adequate regulatory foundations in order to bridge between the research and commercial arenas," the company states in a news release. "We hope that this pioneering approach will be followed by other decisions makers worldwide."
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