Viewpoint: CRISPR crops have a chance to avoid the trust issues that plague GMOs

plants crispr

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine on [July 18th] released a report on how to address the most pressing problems of American agriculture.

Enter CRISPR, a powerful new gene editing tool that’s everything GMOs aren’t.

For one, CRISPR is academic where GMO is corporate. The technology was born at the University of California Berkeley and the Broad Institute at Harvard and MIT. Most of the GMO crops we eat were created by Monsanto.

It’s also transparent where GMO is opaque. The scientists developing CRISPR are making information about the technology and its applications public…

It’s cheap where GMO is expensive, so cheap that you can buy a kit to CRISPR a bacterium right at home for $159. The biotech industry estimates that it takes $130 million to bring a genetically modified crop to market…

Related article:  What's the future of human gene editing? Balancing ethical and religious concerns with evidence-based uses of genetic technologies

It’s accessible where GMO is proprietary. Although there are patents…within CRISPR technology, the Broad Institute has committed to sharing the technology, gratis, with all academic researchers and nonprofit institutions.

Most of the academic scientists working on CRISPR don’t stand to benefit financially….They are instead in it to tackle the world’s pressing priorities: climate change, human health, and the nutrition needs of a growing population.

Read full, original article: The public doesn’t trust GMOs. Will it trust CRISPR?

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