NFU Scotland has backed the use of gene-editing technology despite the Scottish Government’s historic strong opposition to this type of work.

In a DEFRA consultation the union pointed to the “widespread benefits” of the biotechnology. It maintains that once gene editing is proven safe for consumers, the technology offers the potential for farmers to help meet challenges such as climate change, and improve plant and animal health.

The union stresses that gene editing does not introduce foreign DNA into a plant or animal so should not be regulated under the same system as GMOs.

Counterparts in England and Wales have also pointed to the potential benefits of new breeding techniques such as gene editing.