What is next for GM crops?
Today, in addition to GMOs with benefits for farmers and the environment, a number of GMOs with direct consumer benefits are becoming available. Golden Rice – developed for humanitarian use and free of charge – is now being grown in Bangladesh to tackle the threat of vitamin A deficiency. Several soya bean types with healthier oil profiles have been developed (Plenish, Vistive Gold and Omega 3) and the product pipeline also includes healthier rapeseed oils and Omega 9 sunflower oil. In addition, non-browning apples and potatoes with less bruising and reduced acrylamide when cooked have also reached the market. Furthermore, numerous public research projects are going on including in Europe, such as oilseeds enriched in Omega 3 and gluten-free wheat. The bad news however is that European consumers are very unlikely to enjoy any of these beneficial products in the short term, not least because of the extreme costs and uncertainty linked to obtaining GMO authorisations in the region.