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FAQ on Genome Editing and CRISPR/Cas9

Updated BfR FAQ dated 27 October 2022

Genome editing is a generic term for new methods enabling targeted modifications to the genetic material (genome) of a cell. In particular, possible applications of CRISPR/Cas9 are already described in a large number of publications. The German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) systematically monitors these developments in the interest of consumer health protection. In this FAQ, the BfR answers the most important questions on the topic of genome editing and the CRISPR/Cas9 method in particular.

In November 2016, the Federal Government issued a statement entitled "Classification and management of new genetic engineering techniques". (in German)

A group of scientific advisors from the European Commission published an assessment of new techniques in agricultural biotechnology in April 2017.

The legal status of genome editing as a genetic engineering technique was clarified in a ruling from the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in July 2018:

Approaches to the detection of food and feed plant products obtained by new mutagenesis techniques have been analysed by the European Network of GMO Laboratories (ENGL).



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Date Title Size
Updated BfR FAQ
FAQ on Genome Editing and CRISPR/Cas9 154.8 KB




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