Products made possible through gene-editing have landed on grocery shelves. Whether they’ll stay there is up to shoppers wary of technological tinkering.
Food companies are now required to label GMOs in Vermont, and debate is raging over a federal standard. But so far, regulators at the U.S. Department of Agriculture have taken a pass on overseeing gene-edited crops. They say cutting DNA from a plant is not the same as adding genes from another organism. So corn injected with outside DNA is classified a genetically modified organism, but canola that can tolerate herbicide because scientists removed a gene is not….
Nearly 17 percent of new food products introduced in the U.S. last year carried a non-GMO label, up from less than 3 percent in 2011, according to Mintel, a market research firm. And 52 percent of respondents to a Mintel survey said they seek out non-GMO products. Even if Congress passes a bill requiring national GMO labeling, it won’t apply to gene-edited crops as regulations now stand.
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