GMOs are in some instances banned in Europe, for example, but they did not want to put European farmers out of business in their zeal to penalize American companies, so they created a precise definition of GMO that excluded things made using mutagenesis, a less precise (and therefore more risky) form of genetic modification that preceded modern GMOs. So what have European companies gone back to in order to create new products? Mutagenesis.
If you edit genetics rather than modify genetics, you are not a GMO. You can therefore be "organic", which is just as poorly defined.
David Wagner at KPBS writes, "Cibus is a San Diego-based biotech company that alters canola DNA to produce beneficial traits, but not through transgenics. They send a molecular messenger into the plant’s DNA, conscripting the canola’s own DNA-fixing enzymes into changing a gene. That messenger dissolves after its job is done, leaving no foreign genetic material in the finished crop."
So it has been genetically modified but is not a GMO. It leads to a philosophical question: If genes are edited in food and Whole Foods can't find a way to market against it, will Benbrook, Seralini, Mercola and Hari, the Four Horsemen of the Alternative, still claim they cause cancer in rats?
H/T Genetic Literacy Project
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