Gene-edited crops approved by USDA jumps from 7 to 70 between 2019 and 2020

photo ciat
A gene-edited rice recently approved by USDA. Credit: CIAT

Signaling progress for a new kind of crop engineering, the biotech crop trait firm Cibus says it will move forward with field trials for 14 gene-edited crops including canola with a seedpod-shatter reduction trait it says will give farmers more flexibility in when they harvest.

The crops are part of this year’s batch of 70 gene-edited plants that the US Department of Agriculture says will not require the same level of testing and controls as traditional genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Last year, the first full year for current USDA guidance on gene-edited crops, only seven such crops got the green light.

Follow the latest news and policy debates on agricultural biotech and biomedicine? Subscribe to our newsletter.
Related article:  Using CRISPR to map human gene functions

According to the USDA, crops with traits that are created without using transgenes—which are genes borrowed from other species—do not meet the definition of a regulated GMO. Instead, non-transgenic gene-editing is considered a plant-breeding technology.

The precision afforded by new gene-editing techniques such as CRISPR has made it possible for many more companies to create and commercialize traits compared to older GMO practices, which require large investments and long timelines. In addition to the ag giants Corteva Agriscience and J.R. Simplot, smaller firms and start-ups including Inari Agriculture, Pairwise, and CoverCress have traits in development. A number of universities also plan to release new traits.

Read the original post

Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
Talking Biotech
Genetics Unzipped
can you boost your immune system to prevent coronavirus spread x

Video: How to boost your immune system to guard against COVID and other illnesses

Scientists have recently developed ways to measure your immune age. Fortunately, it turns out your immune age can go down ...
mag insects image superjumbo v

Disaster interrupted: Which farming system better preserves insect populations: Organic or conventional?

A three-year run of fragmentary Armageddon-like studies had primed the journalism pumps and settled the media framing about the future ...
dead bee desolate city

Are we facing an ‘Insect Apocalypse’ caused by ‘intensive, industrial’ farming and agricultural chemicals? The media say yes; Science says ‘no’

The media call it the “Insect Apocalypse”. In the past three years, the phrase has become an accepted truth of ...
globalmethanebudget globalcarbonproject cropped x

Infographic: Cows cause climate change? Agriculture scientist says ‘belching bovines’ get too much blame

A recent interview by Caroline Stocks, a UK journalist who writes about food, agriculture and the environment, of air quality ...
organic hillside sweet corn x

Organic v conventional using GMOs: Which is the more sustainable farming?

Many consumers spend more for organic food to avoid genetically modified products in part because they believe that “industrial agriculture” ...
benjamin franklin x

Are most GMO safety studies funded by industry?

The assertion that biotech companies do the research and the government just signs off on it is false ...
gmo corn field x

Do GMO Bt (insect-resistant) crops pose a threat to human health or the environment?

Bt is a bacterium found organically in the soil. It is extremely effective in repelling or killing target insects but ...

Environmental Working Group: EWG challenges safety of GMOs, food pesticide residues

Known by some as the "Environmental Worrying Group," EWG lobbies for tighter GMO legislation and famously puts out annual "dirty dozen" list of fruits and ...
m hansen

Michael Hansen: Architect of Consumers Union ongoing anti-GMO campaign

Michael K. Hansen (born 1956) is thought by critics to be the prime mover behind the ongoing campaign against agricultural biotechnology at Consumer Reports. He is an ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend