Crops that can withstand the ravages of climate change or resist killer diseases? Many already have been developed — including varieties of bananas, cassava, wheat and oranges — but they languish on laboratory shelves as their creators navigate the complex, and sometimes contradictory, regulations developed over the years to deal with genetically modified crops.
We now know that many new genetically engineered plants and animals are as safe as conventionally grown alternatives. But the path to approval for new GMOs remains lengthy and costly— as long as a decade and upwards of $120 million. That’s why some researchers are turning to new tools, including gene editing, to achieve similar or even superior results — with the potential for fewer regulatory hurdles. Read more