Farmers quickly gleaned agronomic benefits from GMO technology. Consumers? Not so much. Gene editing could change that, since it’s keying consumer-friendly products that nix trans fats, boost complex carbohydrates and fiber, and eliminate food allergies.
There are a number of gene-edited crops that are slated to hit the market in the near future. Here are some of them.
- High-oleic soybeans. Calyxt is devising a high-oleic soybean slated to debut in 2018. These soybeans appeal to consumers because they’re healthier than many other cooking or baking oils, say industry officials. They contain zero trans fats and have an oleic content exceeding 75%. This level is similar to olive oil, a healthy cooking oil. High-oleic soybean oil also has two to three times longer the fry and shelf life that commodity soybean oil has.
- Waxy corn. DuPont Pioneer plans to release improved waxy corn hybrids in 2019 or 2020. “We are leaders in the waxy corn market,” says Bob Meeley, DuPont Pioneer senior research scientist. “We know its biology, and we can do it broadly and quickly.”
- Glyphosate-tolerant flax. It is set to debut in several years.
- Two nontransgenic herbicide-tolerant traits for rice.
- Disease-resistant potatoes. These resist phytophthora late blight, which caused the Irish potato famine of the 1840s.
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