How will gene editing impact agriculture? Experts offer 10 predictions

| | December 3, 2018
pig cow
Image: University of California - Davis
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

In the U.S., it’s full speed ahead for gene editing in animal agriculture. In August, the biotech company Recombinetics, based in St. Paul, Minnesota, received $34 million in new funding to speed up research …. to improve livestock health and welfare and to grow human organs in pigs.

When asked what gene-editing research could produce down the road, University of California-Davis geneticist Alison Van Eenennaam and Mitch Abrahamsen, chief commercial and scientific officer for Recombinetics, gave these 10 predictions for the next decade.

Consumers will better understand that gene editing is distinct from GMO transgenic technology.

How well consumers understand gene editing “probably depends on who is disseminating the message,” says Van Eenennaam. Gene editing can actually be used to introduce DNA from a different species, so it is not necessarily distinct from transgenic technology, she explains. At the same time, it can also be used to make alterations that exactly mimic existing genetic variants within a species  or spontaneous genomic alterations.

Related article:  USDA data confirm organic yields significantly lower than with conventional farming

…. “However, some groups have successfully spread fear around GMOs …. They may also find it to their advantage to conflate gene editing with GMO technology and continue to monetize that fear-based messaging around gene editing.”

Read full, original article: 10 Predictions for the Future of Gene Editing in Livestock

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