Biotechnology encompasses a broad range of crop technologies - including conventional and advanced breeding techniques such as Gene Editing. These innovations are designed to promote and support the sustainable intensification of agriculture by tackling challenges such as pests, diseases and the impact of climate change.
Gene editing comprises a range of techniques able to make highly precise changes at targeted
locations in the genome of an organism. This is a more controlled and quicker approach to producing
new varieties than conventional plant breeding.
Gene editing provides opportunities to develop new crop varieties which are resistant to disease, able to thrive in challenging climates, or offer an enhanced nutritional profile.
For example, this technique has already been used to develop new varieties of potato which are resistant to late blight. These potatoes are also less susceptible to bruising, which reduces a large amount of waste in the food chain. Gene edited potato varieties have passed rigorous health and environmental checks in the USA and Canada and are now being grown commercially.
The Agricultural Biotechnology Council (ABC), is part of CropLife UK and has responsibility for providing factual information and education about the agricultural use of biotechnology.