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Commercial development of genetically modified products is now permitted in England, although the governments of Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland have not yet allowed it.
Genetic engineering allows for precise changes to be made to an organism's DNA in order to improve certain characteristics, such as growth rate or resistance to fertilizers.
According to the BBC, supporters of this technology believe it will help accelerate the development of more resilient crops needed due to climate change.
However, critics warn of potential consequences for food production and the environment.
The new legislation opens the door to the breeding of genetically modified agricultural animals, but this will require another vote in parliament, and the changes will only apply to England.
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs stated that the sale of genetically modified products will only be allowed if it is established that they do not pose a risk to health.
It is also noted that any result obtained through genetic engineering or other methods should not differ from what could be achieved naturally.