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Crop Biotech Update

Experts Converged on a Consensus that Genome-edited Plants are Beneficial, Study

March 6, 2019

Researchers at the University of Saskatchewan conducted a survey that solicited opinions of experts (scientists, government officials, agribusiness professionals, etc.) about the potential benefits of site-specific genome-edited crops (free from foreign DNA) in comparison with genetically modified and conventional counterparts.

Results showed that the experts largely agree on the potential benefits of genome-edited crops in terms of agronomic performance (disease resistance, drought tolerance, high yields, and others) final product quality (nutrition, shelf life, and others), climate change resilience, and global food security. Because of the accuracy and precision of genome editing technology, majority of the experts believe that genome editing offers more opportunity than conventional methods to develop crops with enhanced agronomic performance, product quality, farmer profitability, climate resilience, and global food security. However, the opinions of experts on socio-political and environmental issues relating to the technology were less consistent. The respondents were also divided in their views on whether genome-edited crops will enhance consumer confidence or open foreign market access.

Read the research article in Transgenic Research.