CRISPR: Challenges to South African biotechnology law
Genome editing using newly discovered tools such as CRISPR-Cas9 offers the potential to modify the genetic make-up of plants, non-human animals and humans in exact ways. Such genetic modification can serve the purpose of correcting gene defects, and can enhance certain characteristics. Apart from reigniting old ethical debates, genome editing also poses a particular challenge to legal practitioners, as this new technology does not always fit into existing definitional moulds, and it lacks clear legal precedent. In this article, we identify the most salient areas of concern in the South African legal context.