Wednesday, April 24, 2019

CRISPR - Produced Produce Coming Soon to Grocery Stores

In genetic engineering, the rise of CRISPR technology has led to numerous breakthroughs in editing DNA sequences. With CRISPR sequences, they are able to cut out fragments of DNA with the help of the Cas9 enzyme. The gene editing capabilities mean this tool can be useful for a variety of problems, including genetic disorders. However, Jennifer Doudna, one of CRISPR's creators, one of CRISPR's creators, believes the biggest impact will be in the food industry.
Her reasoning is that the CRISPR method is faster and cheaper than current methods, including GMO's. The CRISPR tool allows one to be more precise when editing DNA, which saves time and money. Corporations like Monsanto are heavily funding the advancement of research in this technology, and Jennifer Doudna predicts we will see CRISPR modified produce in stores within five years. Many startups have arisen as well with the goal of producing meat using CRISPR. It could be created using the DNA from a cell, meaning no animals would be killed.
As far as regulations, there should not be many obstacles. The USDA decided that in any circumstance in which the DNA editing could have been done using traditional methods, no extra regulations are required.
I am a proponent of this technology for the reasons stated, as well as the environmental benefits of replacing livestock with synthetic meats. It could help to prevent deforestation as less farms will be needed. Fewer ecosystems would be destroyed and replaced with corn monoculture.


  1. It will be interesting to see which product modified by CRISPR first comes to the market. We will get to see how efficient the technology is and how it benefits agriculture and livestock businesses. I also think CRISPR is a good thing because it creates opportunity to improve food sources and feed more people.

  2. Saving animals while also feeding people sounds great but at what cost. If the synthetic meat is safe for consumption and doesn't have any side effects I would support it. However, when created there could be an error made when creating the genetic code. To me this sounds almost too good to be true.

  3. It's amazing that CRISPR could be used to create synthetic meats for human consumption! I love to think that one day, we may not have to kill animals for meat anymore, or subject them to the harsh conditions that animals experience under the hands of the meat producing/packing industry. I have to question, however, if it is safe for daily human consumption? if it is, I think that's amazing, and I hope our supermarkets fill up with the stuff, instead of meat from livestock!