Viewpoint: Anti-biotech activists don’t understand the difference between GMOs and CRISPR crops

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CRISPR-Cas9 may genetically modify a crop, but it doesn’t necessarily result in a genetically modified organism, the dreaded GMO. To understand how that can be, we need to understand both genetic modification and federal regulations.

CRISPR-Cas9 doesn’t require foreign genes, nor does it necessarily need a bacterium to introduce the system into the target cells. It leaves no trace, and the genome that has been modified is almost identical, biosimilar is the word I would choose, to the original.

The USDA has determined that CRISPR-Cas9 techniques when they do not introduce foreign DNA or use a “plant pest” bacteria for insertion do not require their oversight.

The response to these regulatory decisions by the anti-GMO forces has been to cry foul. For them, any alteration of DNA is genetic manipulation – it is all about the process. But if that were the case, then crossbreeding and grafting techniques we have used for hundreds of years would also be of concern.

Global scientific thought believes that a crop’s safety is based on the end product not the mechanism of mutagenesis.

Read full, original post: CRISPR-Created Foods Are Different Than GMOs. It’s Wrong For Anti-GMO Activists To Pretend They’re Not.

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