Gene editing has long been primarily used for research, treatment, and disease prevention. Currently, this technology is increasingly being applied to modify agricultural products to create more “perfect” species. More and more genetically edited foods are appearing on the market, including high-nutrient tomatoes and zero-trans-fat soybean oil.
Some argue that gene-edited foods are safer than genetically modified (GM) foods (pdf). The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) specified in 2018 that most genetically edited foods do not need to be regulated. However, are these foods, which will increasingly appear on the table, really risk-free?
Gene Modification 2.0: Gene-Edited Foods May Become More Available
In September 2021, the first gene-edited food—Sicilian Rouge tomatoes—made with CRISPR-Cas9 technology were officially on sale.
This gene-edited tomato contains high levels of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), which helps lower blood pressure and aids relaxation.
Japanese researchers remove a gene from the genome of the common tomato. After the gene is removed, the activity of an enzyme in tomatoes increases, promoting the production of GABA. The GABA content in this tomato is four to five times higher than that of a regular tomato. – READ MORE