WASHINGTON (AP) – Next-generation biotechnology food is heading towards the food market and first it can be salad dressings or…
WASHINGTON (AP) – Next-generation biotechnology food is heading towards the food market and first it can be salad dressings or granola bars made with soybean oil genetically tweaked to be good for your heart
Early next year, the first foods are expected from plants or animals that had their DNA “edited” to begin selling. It is a technology other than today’s controversial “genetically modified” food, rather as faster breeding promising to increase nutrition, stimulate growth and make farm animals bold and fruit and vegetables last longer.
The US National Academy of Sciences has declared redevelopment one of the breakthroughs needed to improve food production so that the world can measure billions more people in a changing climate. Yet governments are breaking how to regulate this powerful new tool. And after years of confusion and rancor, will shoppers accept accepted foods or see them as GMO in disguise?
“If the consumer benefits, I think they will embrace the products and worry less about the technology,” said Dan Voytas, a professor at the University of Minnesota and Chief Scientist of Calyxt Inc., who edited soybeans to make the oil heartbreaking.
Researchers pursue more ambitious changes: Wheat with triple common fibers, or low in gluten. Mushrooms that do not burn and better producing tomatoes. Wipe tolerant corn and rice that no longer absorbs soil contamination as it grows. Milk cows that do not need to undergo painful fatigue and pigs immune to a dangerous virus that can sweep through herds.
Scientists also hope that redevelopment can ultimately save species from being wiped out by devastating diseases such as citrus grains, a so far unstoppable infection that destroys Florida’s famous oranges.
First, they must find genes that can make a new generation of trees immune.
“If we can enter and edit the gene, change the DNA sequence ever so little with one or two letters, we could get a way to defeat this disease,” says Fred Gmitter, a genetician at the University of Florida Citrus Research and Education Center, when he examined sick trees in a grove near Fort Meade. [1
Genetically modified or edited, what’s the difference?
Farmers have long genetically engineered crops and animals through selective breeding to produce certain characteristics. It is time consuming and can provide balances. Modern tomatoes, for example, are larger than their wildfathers, but the generations of crossing made them more fragile and changed their nutrients.
GMOs, or genetically modified organisms, are plants or animals mixed with another species “DNA to introduce a specific feature – which means they are” transgenic “. Most commonly known are maize and soybeans mixed with bacterial genes for built-in resistance against pests or fertilizers.
Despite international scientific consensus that GMO is safe to eat, some people are cautious and there are concerns that they can spell herbicide resistant weeds.
Now editing tools, called CRISPR and the speech, are editing change foods more accurately and at lower cost without necessarily adding foreign DNA. Instead, they act as molecular scissors to change the letters in an organism’s own genetic alphabet.
The technology may insert new DNA, but most of the products so far have evolved shut down a gene, according to Professor Nicholas Kalaitzandonakes University of Missouri.  The new Ca lyya soybeans? Voya’s team disabled two genes, so the beans produce oil without heartburn trans fat and share the olive oil’s foreign health profile without its clear taste.
The hornless calves? Most dairy products Holsteins grow horns that are removed for the safety of farmers and other cows. Recombinetics Inc. exchanged part of the gene that causes dairy cows to grow horns with DNA instructions from naturally horned Angus cattle.
“Precision Breeding” is how animal geneticist Alison Van Eenennaam of the University of California, Davis, explains. “This will not replace traditional breeding”, but makes it easier to add another move.
Rules Not Ready
The Agriculture Department says that no additional rules are needed for “plants that would otherwise have been developed through traditional farming”, clearing the way for the development of about two dozen redeveloped crops to date.
On the other hand, the Food and Drug Administration 2017 proposed stricter drug-like restrictions on redirected animals. It promises guidance sometime next year on exactly how it will continue.
Because of trade, international regulations are “the most important factor for the process of commercialization,” said the USDAs Paul Spencer, a meeting of agricultural economists.
The European High Court ruled last summer that the existing European rands on transgenic GMO sales should also apply to re-processed foods.
However, in the World Trade Organization this month, the United States in twelve countries, including Australia, Canada, Argentina and Brazil, called on other countries to adopt internationally consistent, science-based rules for farm refurbished farming.
Are these foods safe?
The biggest concern is what are called off-target changes, unintentional changes in DNA that can affect a green nutritional value or animal health, says Jennifer Kuzma of Genetic Engineering and Community Center at North Carolina State University.
Researchers are looking for some signs of problems. Take the hornless calves in a UC-Davis field. One is female and when it begins to produce milk, Van Eenennaam will test how the milk’s fat and protein composition is like milk from unchanged cows.
“We are a little convinced,” she said, and noted that eating beef from naturally hornless Angus cattle is good, milk from edited Holstein should also.
But to Kuzma, companies must be aware of how these new foods were made and proof that they are healthy. She wants the supervisory authorities to decide on a case-by-case basis, what changes are not large, and which may require more review.
“Most genetically modified plants and animals will probably only be good to eat. But you’re only going to do yourself a death service in the long run if you hide behind the terminology,” said Kuzma.
Avoid a backlash
Uncertainty about legislation and consumer response creates some strange bedfellows. An industry-based group of food producers and farmers asked university researchers and consumer advocates to help craft guidelines for “responsible use” of redevelopment in food security. “
” It is obvious that this coalition exists because of some of the controversies from the GMO debates, it’s no matter about it, “said Greg Jaffe of the Food Security Watchdog Center for Science in Public Interest, who agreed that join the Center for Food Integrity guidelines. “It’s clear to be questions about this technology.”
Shelf life or hype?
Refinement can not do anything, warned Calyxts Voytas. There are limits to how much food can change. Certainly, scientists have made wheat containing less gluten, but it is unlikely they will never be completely gluten-free for people who can not digest the protein, for example – or to say, allergy-free peanuts .
It’s also not easy how companies can change different types of food, the key to their profit.
Despite her concerns about adequate regulation, Kuzma expects around 20 redeveloped crops to hit the US market for five years – and she notes that researchers are also investigating changes in crops, such as cassava, which are important in the poorest countries.
“We think it will really revolutionize the industry,” she said.