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Current status on the modification of the scope for GMO regulation on the gene edited plants with no remnants of inserted foreign DNA fragments
J Plant Biotechnol 2019;46:137-142
Published online September 30, 2019
© 2019 The Korean Society for Plant Biotechnology.

Shin-Woo Lee

Gene Edited Crops with No Remnants of Inserted Foreign DNA Fragments Should be Exempted From GMO Regulation
Correspondence to: e-mail:
Received August 9, 2019; Revised September 4, 2019; Accepted September 15, 2019.
cc This is an Open-Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Gene edited crops can be classified as SDN-1, SDN-2 and SDN-3 group depending on their mutation’s range and the usage of donor DNA. The SDN-1 and SDN-2 crops, in particular, could be developed as 100% transgenefree, which do not contain any DNA fragment of the vector or guide RNA used for gene editing such as CRISPR Cas9 system. Therefore, there are no scientific methods available for the detection of these crops and differentiation with the one produced by conventional cross breeding techniques. Additionally, it would be impossible to properly implement the existing GMO regulation law, in particular, the national legislation for “GMO labelling”. In this regard, Australia has announced that SDN-1 crops will not be subjected to the existing GMO regulation. Furthermore, Argentina and Brazil have established a new policy that GE crops with no transgene (100% transgene-free crops) should be exempted from the scope of the GMO. In addition, Japan has also announced that “an organism that has no remnants of inserted nucleic acid processed extracellularly is not subjected to the Cartagena Act”. It means that SDN-2 crops can also be exempted from the scope of GMO. In this trend, in South Korea, I suggested that gene edited crops with no remnants of inserted foreign DNA fragments should be excluded from the existing GMO regulation. Thus, I expect that diverse elite crop lines should be developed by using advanced gene editing technologies.
Keywords : Gene edited crops, SDN crops, Transgene free crops, Redefinition of GMO, Scope of GMO, Regulatory framework

September 2019, 46 (3)
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  • Korea Research Institute of Bioscience and Biotechnology Korea Biosafey Clearing House
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