USDA confirms it won’t regulate CRISPR gene-edited plants like it does GMOs.
I find this distinction interesting. Humans have been “modifying” crop and animal genes since the invention of agriculture by selecting for desired variants. Transgenic modification, where scientists literally splice in genes from unrelated organisms, has proven to be much more effective at achieving objectives. But with that comes the big risk of unexpected consequences. CRISPR-Cas9 edits are much more targeted and their results are in theory more predictable, so regulators find it more akin to the gene selection of years past. For all of us as consumers, I think we’re going to need a whole new vocabulary. | learn more