An article recently published by The Scientist discusses the first sale of gene-edited soybean oil for commercial use. Calyxt, an agriculture-focused company based in Minnesota, has developed a product called Calyno oil and sold it to a Midwestern restaurant with multiple locations. The company has modified their soybeans to produce a “high oleic” oil with no trans fats and less saturated fat. Calyxt stated that transcription activator-like effector nuclease (TALEN) was used to alter the soybeans. The company used precision technologies to edit the soybean crop and does not consider their new product a GMO. Calyno oil is being marketed as a non-GMO oil similar to olive, sunflower, and safflower oils. Calyxt hopes to sell to consumers in the near future.
I was a little concerned by this article. Nowhere in the article is the FDA or regulations mentioned. GMO foods face large scrutiny before becoming available for consumers and commercial businesses. What standards are being used to evaluate gene-edited products? Has there been enough research on gene-edited products to ensure they are safe for consumption? Further research is needed on gene-edited crops to ensure they are safe for human consumption.