Gene-edited Foods

Gene editing is the biggest technical advance in bioscience since the discovery of “recombinant DNA” technology — artificially mixing genetic material — in 1973. That launched the era of genetic engineering and led to the commercialisation of genetically modified (GM) crops in the 1990s. Now gene editing (GE) is for the first time giving researchers a fast, reliable way to make precise changes in specific genes. But its use in farming is in the balance after a European ruling last year equated it with heavily regulated GM. By early next year, the first foods from plants or animals that had their DNA ‘edited’ are expected to begin selling. It’s a different technology than today’s controversial ‘genetically modified’ foods, more like faster breeding that promises to boost nutrition, spur crop growth, and make farm animals hardier and fruits and vegetables last longer.

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