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CRISPR race: Gene editing’s lower costs, regulations open door to more competition, improved crops

Monsanto … is investing in gene editing in an effort to keep an edge over rival suppliers of high-tech crop seeds. Monsanto has signed a string of licensing deals to add new gene-editing capabilities to its established methods of genetically modifying seeds, or creating GMOs.

Dr. Robert Fraley, Monsanto’s chief technology officer, said gene editing could help corn plants thrive in dry conditions, or produce tastier bell peppers. “It’s a breakthrough technology,” he said. “It’s going to create just a wave of innovation.”

But startups and established competitors like Dupont and Dow Chemical Co. are also working on gene-edited plants, which can advance through regulatory reviews faster than seeds developed with earlier biotechnology techniques.

Gene-edited crops can face looser regulation in the U.S. than crops that have been souped up with outside DNA. Winning world-wide regulatory approval for traditional biotech crops can take 13 years and cost $136 million….

That opens the field to a wider range of competitors, said James Radtke, head of product development for Cibus. “As long as that continues, a company that’s got a smaller budget can actually be a player,” he said.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: Next Phase of High-Tech Crops: Editing Their Genes (behind paywall)

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Click the link above to read the full, original article.
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