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Moving towards a modern biotechnology policy

Gene-editing techniques such as Crispr-Cas are on our doorstep, but the public remains suspicious of genetically modified crops. Astrid van de Graaf analyses a Dutch report that seeks to move beyond this trench war.

Now that Crispr-Cas is being experimented with worldwide, many believe it is high time for a more differentiated European biotechnology policy—one that takes into account the social and ethical aspects of the gene-editing of plants and crops.

Norway is leading the way in this area, according to Genome Editing of Plants and Crops, a report published on 15 January by the Rathenau Institute. The institute is part of the KNAW, the Dutch academy of arts and sciences, and specialises in the societal aspects of science, innovation and emerging technologies.

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