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We must end ‘over-regulation’ of crop gene editing to halt global food insecurity, says prominent Canadian agricultural scientist

| | January 10, 2019
hunger in developing countries
Image Credit: The Borgen Project
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

[W]hen it comes to food and agriculture, the future may be predictable, but it isn’t humorous. The current situation is that with the level of global food insecurity stubbornly remaining above 800 million people, changes are required this year that will contribute to reducing this level. In the first decade of the 21st century, progress was made on reducing food insecurity, but the FAO reports that in 2017, the number of food insecure rose for the third straight year in a row, back to levels of a decade earlier.

One change that I desperately feel needs to happen is to end the over-regulation of genome edited plant varieties. Scientific advancements in plant breeding have been occurring for decades. Society has accepted the use of  untargeted chemical and radiation mutation breeding technologies to create plant varieties that aren’t regulated beyond basic agronomy safety aspects.

Related article:  Podcast: Plant diseases destroy $220 billion worth of crops annually. Meet the scientists fighting to protect our food supply

Yet, the application of precision genome editing mutagenesis has resulted in some countries regulating these plant varieties as equivalent to plants that have been genetically modified with genes from other species (transgenic).

Read full, original article: What Does 2019 Hold for Food and Ag?

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