GMO crops have extra layers of government regulation beyond what “conventionally” bred plants have to deal with. But this year, the USDA decreed that CRISPR’d crops will not count as GMOs if they don’t contain foreign DNA. So, for example, if you take a corn plant and add a gene from another living thing, that could be considered a GMO. But if you just use CRISPR to delete a gene, without adding anything new, the law considers that equivalent to breeding a new corn variety the old-fashioned way.
But the FDA announced that they view CRISPR in animals as a form of gene therapy, which means it’s regulated as a veterinary drug. So if you want to use CRISPR to produce a hornless cow, or a purebred dog that’s missing one of the harmful mutations that often come along with inbreeding, you would have to go through the extremely expensive process of getting it approved as a new drug.
Bottom line: CRISPR plants could be in a grocery store near you in a few years, but CRISPR-edited animals face more barriers.
Read full, original post: What Is CRISPR and What Can It Really Do?