The GMO debate continues… RNZ’s This Way Up programme on Saturday April 30 featured an interview by Simon Morton with Fusion.net’s Kristen Brown:

The US Department of Agriculture has just given the go-ahead for the first food to be produced using the gene editing technology CRISPR-Cas9. A white button mushroom that won’t brown as quickly as conventional fungi could appear in American consumers’ fridges soon. The decision’s re-ignited a simmering debate about the regulation, ethical implications and health impacts of genetically modified foods. Splicing genes from one species to another has usually been a fraught question for regulators, and also tougher for consumers to stomach; one well-publicised example was a tomato spliced with flounder DNA to make it more resistant to cold temperatures. But the emerging science of gene editing has shifted the discussion, as it gives scientists the ability to modify crops without introducing genes from other species simply by cutting, pasting and knocking out particular genes within a species. Meanwhile, gene editing is leaving the lab with a growing band of DIY geneticists and biohackers trying it out for themselves at home. Kristen V. Brown’s been looking at these recent developments for Fusion.net.

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