South Korea Promotes the First Genome-edited Food Crop

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Pouring soy bean into tractor trailer after harvest at field.

SINCE the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has determined that the soybeans improved using CRISPR-Cas9 are not considered as genetically modified, the Seed Project using CRISPR commences.

“We received a decision from the USDA that the genome-edited soybean which contains a double amount antioxidant, anti-aging oleic acid, are not GMOs,” said Ji-Hak Han, Director of the Toolgen Seed Business Division recently. This is the second time that Toolgen received the same decision. The first one was for a new variety of Petunia.

Toolgen has been conducting field trials in Central Asia since early this year to commercialize soybean seeds as well as to find areas for mass production. “We will gradually expand and commercialize the scale within three years after the successful small-scale field trial cultivation,” Han added.