CRISPR crops spur farming innovation despite climate change, water shortages and exploding food demand

| | April 5, 2019
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

The discussion and debate surrounding advances in agriculture have become frequent topics of discussion….[N]ow more than ever, the concept of genome editing a plant’s actual biological makeup using a precise method such as CRISPR is becoming more prevalent in the agtech conversation.

[T]here are still major unmet needs in the industry. Increasingly unpredictable weather patterns, water shortages, and a reduction in arable land are all frequent reminders that we need to innovate much further.

With demand growing for food and protein as human populations increase and become more prosperous, step-change improvements in crop yield could help growers begin to address the challenge of global food security. New technologies, such as CRISPR, can also be deployed to improve the nutritional profile of some crops –producing higher-fiber wheat and healthier oils are near-term examples.

Related article:  First attempt at using CRISPR to edit genes inside the body targets inherited form of blindness

The role the USDA has played over the past few years to spur innovation in agriculture cannot be understated. In 2018, the USDA issued a statement….clarifying its position on CRISPR-use, one that emphasized it will not over-regulate the use of the technology in the sector, thus “green-lighting” gene-editing crops moving forward.

Read full, original article: Why now is the time for the convergence of agriculture and CRISPR technology

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