Breakthrough in detecting genetically edited crops means “No more excuses!”
First detection test for gene-edited GM canola crop published
A new kind of GMO, called genome-edited GMOs, has recently entered the food system and, although these GMOs have not been shown by scientific research to be any safer than earlier GMOs, the biotech industry and some scientists and government regulators have maintained that the gene-edited crops cannot be distinguished from natural crops and therefore cannot be regulated.
Now, a group of non-governmental organisations, non-GMO food associations and a food retailer1 have proven that gene-edited crops can be detected. They have published the first-ever public detection method for a gene-edited crop, a rapeseed variety produced by the US company Cibus (SU Canola).
Lead scientist Dr John Fagan from the Health Research Institute (Iowa, USA) added: “The method we have developed detects what is probably the most challenging class of gene edits – a modification of just a single letter in the genetic blueprint. Since the scientific community has been using similar approaches for two decades to detect more complex GMOs, it is likely that this approach can be used to develop detection methods for most, if not all, gene-edited crops. And the good news is that it uses procedures and equipment similar to those that regulatory and commercial laboratories are already familiar with. It’s a big step for creating better safety and better transparency for humanity.”
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