The ruling of the USDA to not examine the CRISPR-modified mushrooms was initially a huge shock to me when I first heard it. It didn’t make any sense how a clearly genetically modified organism wouldn’t fall under the guise of GMO regulations.
However, from reading the USDA’s response it sounds as if the Plant Protection Act is more concerned about the introduction of genetic material rather than its removal. Thus, the generation of knockouts would be deemed to be acceptable.
This opens up a huge number of potential genetic modifications that would not be subject to a USDA ruling. The USDA has already stated that it would not regulate CRISPR-modified drought-resistant corn.
The real regulatory battle will be in Europe. The EFSA does conduct risk assessments but ultimately approval comes down to the European Commissions, which is less driven by the science but more by politics and has a tighter definition of a GMO.
The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. Read full, original post: CRISPR-Modified Mushrooms Escaped GMO Regulations, And Here’s What It Means For The Future