CRISPR-edited plants’ social, ethical, policy, and governance issues

Nayla Munawar, Khansa Ahsan, Aftab Ahmad

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Citation (Scopus)


Advanced genome editing technologies, including clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) and Cas9, have the potential to address emerging health, environmental, and food security issues. However, modern plant genome editing raises several ethical and social concerns, including potential unknown harm to human health and the environment, corporate dominance, potential damage to traditional farming practices, and religious beliefs about unnatural products. Genetically modified (GM) crops are powerful alternatives to traditionally bred plants for meeting rising global food demand; however, the benefit-to-disadvantage ratio must be greater than one for them to be widely accepted by the public. Serious public apprehensions and their mistrust of modified plants and their products highlight the need for greater transparency and better regulations and governing policies for the appropriate utilization of the technology. The first part of this chapter focuses on the social and ethical concerns of the public about CRISPR/Cas-modified crops. The following section focuses on the international governance and policies for CRISPR/Cas genome editing. Finally, we focus on the global regulations that are currently implemented for CRISPR-edited plants and provide future directions on the use of the CRISPR/Cas system in line with ethics and biosafety for humans and the environment.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGlobal Regulatory Outlook for CRISPRized Plants
Number of pages30
ISBN (Electronic)9780443184444
ISBN (Print)9780443184451
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2023


  • CRISPR/Cas
  • governance
  • plant genome editing
  • policy
  • public awareness
  • regulation
  • social and ethical issues

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences


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