Biotech Updates

BASF and Cargill Partner on GM Plant Omega-3 Project

November 18, 2011

BASF Plant Science and Cargill are hoping that by 2020 they will be able to market genetically modified canola oil rich in omega-3 forms EPA and DHA.

In a statement, Jenny Verner, president, Cargill Specialty Canola Oils, said: "By addressing stability and cost, we are confident that EPA/DHA canola oil will be embraced by food, pharmaceutical and nutritional supplement manufacturers globally."  The vegetarian source has a potential to lower input and environmental costs and approved EPA-DHA health claims.

Andy Beadle, BASF polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) project leader at BASF Plant Science, explained that lab results were promising and ‘end-of-the-decade' timeframe in bringing a high-yield DHA-EPA ingredient to market was more regulatory than scientific. "We are still working on different varieties of canola but we need to get all this through the regulatory systems," he said. "Detailed experiments need to be performed and then dossiers compiled and submitted and this can take a long time," Beadle added.

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