Could CRISPR revolution help streamline US, EU regulations of GM crop technology?

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This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

Under current US and contemplated EU regulation, when CRISPR is used to modify a handful of nucleotides to knockin or knockout one or more endogenous gene pathways in a crop organism, the resulting organism is not viewed as a GMO…[but] if CRISPR is used to introduce an entire exogenous gene sequence into an organism, it would be considered a GMO…[but] consider if CRISPR is used to introduce multiple copies of an endogenous gene to obtain higher levels of expression, without the introduction of foreign DNA. Should the US or EU view this as a GMO?

The classification of CRISPR-engineered crops as non-GM has the potential to exacerbate public distrust around GMOs if…not handled in an open and engaging way.

While in the past much of the EU has been reluctant to embrace GM crops, recent pressure from trade partners has led to speculation that the EU will move toward the position that crops which have been altered using [New Breeding Techniques] should be exempt from the regulations that currently control transgenic GM crops.

The agricultural biotech industry has not been well served by historical GMO messaging efforts. However, the awesome power of CRISPR to easily and inexpensively copy and paste genetic information has captured the public’s imagination…[and] offers a fresh opportunity for the industry to engage the public and shape policy and perception together, rather than after the fact.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: Genetic Engineering and Crops: The CRISPR Conundrum

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