DIY genetic engineering kit to brew glow-in-the-dark booze runs into trouble with FDA

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Josiah Zayner has made glow in the dark boo with a do-it-yourself DNA kit that his startup, the Odin, has just started selling online. The company conceived it as a gimmick to introduce homebrewers to genetic engineering. But in the short time the kit’s been for sale, it’s also become a test for the citizen scientists to see how far they can push the FDA.

With the kit, customers can genetically engineer yeast to make mead that gleams like a lantern …

. . . .

sub buzzBy initially marketing the kit as a food-making device, the startup may have exposed a loophole in laws that haven’t caught up to a generation of biohackers tinkering with the DNA of bacteria, plants, and animals in their kitchens and garages.

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…After BuzzFeed News asked Zayner about the product’s legal status, he contacted the FDA, and learned the agency had been waiting for his call.

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Three FDA staffers told Zayner that the green fluorescence protein was likely a color additive for food, and it hadn’t been recognized as safe to consume…. Zayner argued that the kits were being sold in part as an educational tool; the FDA disagreed.

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The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. Read full, original post: DNA Biohackers Are Giving The FDA A Headache With Glow-In-The-Dark Booze

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