GM TECHNOLOGY has traditionally long been a hard sell.
Coupling the words “genetic” and “modification” hasn’t helped, and neither has the involvement of big corporate biotech firms. But how about “genetic editing”? The phrase has been coined by researchers in Italy. Instead of introducing new genes into plants and crops, the plants’ genetic makeup is edited so preferable traits can be expressed. The result? Bananas that produce more vitamin A and apples that don’t brown when they are cut. Writing in the journal Trends in Biotechnology, Chidananda Nagamangala Kanchiswamy of the Istituto Agrario San Michele in Italy explained that “the simple avoidance of introducing foreign genes makes genetically edited crops more ‘natural’ than transgenic crops obtained by inserting foreign genes”.