A tale of two GMO crops: Why were omega-3 producing plants developed faster than golden rice?

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One of the arguments that has been advanced to promote genetically engineered crops is that …. [c]rops could be engineered so that they provide nutrients they currently don’t ….

In fact, the technology does have that potential, and a couple of efforts have been made to do exactly this. Yet, decades into the GMO era, all of the engineered crops on the market provide enhanced productivity and other benefits to farmers but nothing for the people who ultimately end up eating the results. So why the huge gap between potential and reality? The huge number of problems involved is the subject of a review in Nature Plants.

Related article:  Ugandan farmers struggling with cassava viruses await GMO solution

The new paper …. uses two very different GMO crop experiences to illustrate the challenges of trying to improve nutrition …. Ultimately, genetically modified plants were able to produce seed-based oils with levels of omega-3s that were similar to that found in fish oil. In this sense, it was the converse of golden rice: building a foundational understanding of how to get the pathway to work in plants took a while, but, once it was complete, things progressed pretty rapidly.

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Read full, original article: Why haven’t genetically engineered crops made food better?

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