Consumer-focused CRISPR-edited crops may be key to building public trust in biotech

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Gene editing has the potential to change agriculture, but only if consumers believe it’s a beneficial technology….The best way and maybe the only way to get the public onside is to give them food traits and crop attributes they want.

“If you like avocados and you don’t want them to be brown and you choose a gene-edited avocado because of that, you’re just not going to care about gene-edited tilapia, or soybeans or whatever….” said Jack Bobo, vice-president of global policy and government affairs with Intrexon, an American firm that produces….the non-browning Arctic Apple.

The counter-argument is that agriculture needs to rely on sound science and then convince the public to trust the science of modern agriculture.

Related article:  Podcast with Dr. Paul Offit: Striking similarities between anti-biotech and anti-vaccine activism

In 2016, the U.S. National Academy of Sciences….published a 587-page report on genetically modfied crops….[T]he academy “found no substantiated evidence that foods from GE….crops were less safe than foods from non-GE crops.”

Such a report should have ended the conversation about the safety of GM food. It didn’t. Sound science doesn’t matter to many members of the public. What does matter is a canola oil that makes mayonnaise tastier and healthier.

Read full, original article: Public must support gene-editing revolution

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