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Healthier oil? US farmers poised for first harvest of gene-edited soybeans

| October 30, 2018

Farmers in the United States are poised to harvest, for the first time, 6,500 hectares of genetically modified soybeans that produce a healthier oil with 80% oleic acid, 20% less saturated fatty acids and zero trans fat. The variety is developed by the company Calyxt, [headquartered in] Minnesota, and will be used in salad dressings, granola bars and frying oil.

US Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said his department has no plans to regulate new varieties of genetically engineered plants, contrary to the European Union’s decision to equate regulation, genetic editing and transgenic crops. In his statement, Perdue called the gene issue an “innovative” technique that “can not be distinguished from those developed through traditional methods of reproduction.”

Related article:  Ethics and the controversial decision to make gene-edited babies

Zach Luttrell, director of industry consulting at StraightRow LLC, sees editing genes as a way for the industry to continue to reduce costs. He says a product developed using the new technique could be released within three years, costing between $10 and $20 million, comparing it to a transgenic crop that could cost $100 million for a decade.

[Editor’s note: This story was originally published in Portuguese. This summary was prepared with Google Translate.]

Read full, original article: Modified soy has healthier oil

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