Crop Biotech Update

Genome Editing Can Help Achieve UN Sustainable Development Goals

March 23, 2022

Evidence suggests that through the potential contributions to increase yield, enhance nutrition, and greater environmental sustainability, genome editing can help attain the top three Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) identified by the United Nations.

In a peer-reviewed paper written by Stuart J. Smyth of the University of Saskatchewan in Canada, genome editing can help achieve the top three SDGs as described below:

  • Applications of genome editing in crop and animals contribute by promoting more environmentally sustainable agriculture, ending hunger, and achieving food security, which are components of SDG 2, Zero Hunger. Genome editing contributes to increased sustainability through improvement of water- and nitrogen-use efficiency of crops, reduction in environmental footprint in agricultural production, and enabling the production of more food using less or the same amount of resources as conventional crops and livestock.
  • Applications of genome editing can also directly improve human health through the development of foods that can help prevent specific diseases while increasing the nutritional values of food. Some examples are the GABA tomato, tomato with increased lycopene, and wheat that produces less asparagine. These genome-edited foods help promote SDG 3, Good Health and Well-being.
  • Genome editing can also help attain SDG 1, No Poverty. The adoption of genome-edited crops increases yield and reduces input costs, which results in higher farm and household incomes. Increased income also provides a better opportunity for higher levels of education for the farmers' children.

Learn more about how genome editing can contribute to reaching the UN SDGs in 2030 by reading the full paper published by Frontiers in Genome Editing.

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