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Lords Committee inquiry on GM insects looks at regulation

The existing frameworks for the regulation of GM insects will be scrutinised by the Lords Committee investigating GM insect technologies next week, Tuesday 20 October.

The House of Lords Science and Technology Committee will also explore potential alternative regulatory environments and ask witnesses how GM insect technologies are regulated abroad.

The Committee is exploring the potential of GM insect technologies, hoping to probe this developing field of scientific research.

In the first evidence session, at 10.40am, the Committee will ask questions about the regulations here in the UK and in Europe.

The witnesses are Professor Rosemary Hails, Chair, Advisory Committee on Releases to the Environment (ACRE); Dr Jeremy Sweet, Environmental Consultant, Sweet Environmental Consultants; and Ms Camilla Beech, Head of Regulatory Affairs, Oxitec Limited.

Questions the witnesses are likely to face include:

  • What is the current regulatory environment in the EU and UK?
  • Is it working or is it preventing the sector from innovating and growing?
  • How could existing regulatory frameworks be improved?

In the second session of questioning, at 11.40am, the Committee will delve deeper into the field of regulation.

The witnesses for this session are Professor Paulo Paes Andrade, Department of Genetics, Federal University of Pernambuco, Brazil; Professor John Mumford, Professor of Natural Resource Management, Centre for Environmental Policy, Imperial College London; and Dr Jack Stilgoe, Senior Lecturer, Department of Science and Technology Studies, University College London.

Questions which this part of the evidence session will cover could include:

  • What is the regulatory environment like outside the EU?
  • What would constitute an improved, ideal regulatory framework?
  • How can responsible research and innovation approaches be adhered to?

The Committee evidence sessions will take place at 10.40am and 11.40am in Committee Room 4A in the House of Lords, on Tuesday 20 October.

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