The Jakarta Post
The Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI) is conducting research related to genome editing and concerns have arisen over a lack of clear regulation regarding the technology.
Genome editing is a method that allows scientists to alter the DNA of many organisms, such as plants, bacteria and animals.
According to LIPI's acting deputy of life sciences Yan Rianto, regulations relating to genome-editing products in Indonesia are needed before applying the technology.
Currently in Indonesia, the utilization of such genetic-engineering technology is managed under Government Regulation (PP) No. 21/2005 on genetically modified products. According to the regulation, products of genome editing are categorized as genetically modified organisms (GMOs), which means their application is treated the same as the release of genetically engineered plants.
"Hopefully this year [the government] will issue new regulations related to the application of genome editing so that it is categorized differently from other genetic-engineering products," said Yan.
LIPI is currently conducting a variety of research related to genome editing, including research on increasing the storage period of cassava and the modification of plant biosynthetic paths to increase the lignin level on forest plants.
According to LIPI Biotechnology Research Center head Puspita Lisdiyanti other countries have made clear their position toward genome editing, especially in terms of developing premium seed technology. (dpk/kes)