Sep 19, 2016

CRISPR Could Usher in a New Era of Delicious GMO Foods

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, food, genetics

That brought a lot of media attention, and Giorgio got skittish. “They didn’t want to have the perception from customers that their company was developing genetically modified organisms,” says Yang. Yang is still working to perfect the anti-browning in his academic lab, but he has no immediate plans to commercialize it.

The anti-browning trait might also just be a tough sell to customers: When a Canadian apple wanted to sell a GM apple that doesn’t brown—genetically altered through conventional means—it had to battle assumptions that growers just wanted to hide bruised produce. Which is, well, true. Produce that doesn’t brown when handled does also mean less waste for stores and growers.

In Sweden, Jansson is no stranger to unease over genetic engineering. His colleagues recently returned from a conference where activists flung cow dung and eggs at scientists. The CRISPR-edited cabbage he grew he actually got from researchers outside Sweden, who did not want their names or even their country revealed, fearing backlash from environmental activists. Jansson did his cabbage stunt because he wanted people to start thinking about what CRISPR could mean for food.

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