Scientific challenges to CRISPR crops ‘largely settled,’ though political, social concerns remain

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Soon, soybeans will be bred to yield oil without dangerous trans fats. Lettuce will be grown to handle warmer, drier fields. Wheat to contain less gluten. And pigs bred to resist deadly viruses. Someday, maybe even strawberry plants whose delicate berries can be picked by machine instead of by hand.

Ten years ago, such genetic changes would have been considered science fiction …. But gene editing, particularly with a tool called Crispr-Cas9, has made it much easier and more efficient to tinker with the genomes of plants and animals. The first Crispr-edited products will begin reaching the market this year ….

Related article:  Climate change, COVID-19 and GMOs: When should the public trust expert opinion?

…. The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) issued a statement last March saying it would not regulate crops whose genetic changes could have been produced with conventional breeding. The European court of justice, by contrast, ruled last summer that gene-edited crops should be regulated as GMOs.

The scientific challenges have been largely settled – or at least there’s a clear path toward resolving them, according to scientists in the field. But political and social ones remain.

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Read full, original article: Crispr gene-editing will change the way Americans eat – here’s what’s coming

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