What can be achieved using genome editing?
The private and public sectors are using the tools of genome editing to develop a range of new products with new or improved properties. Products vary per sector and its end users.
For healthy, sustainable food (production): Examples of characteristics developed by genome editing – which is often called “plant breeding innovation” or “new breeding techniques” (NBTs) in this sector – include disease resistant fruits and vegetables, products with lower allergenic potential (eggs, milk and wheat), healthier oils with reduced trans-fats, and cereal crops that use water more efficiently. Furthermore, genome editing allows for development of food with longer shelf life, enabling a reduction of food waste.
For a bio-based economy: Genome editing can enable the production of bio-based chemicals, for replacing petrochemical “building blocks”. Similarly, the technique may be used to develop pheromones that can be used as an alternative to insecticides for crop protection, thereby cutting down on pesticide use and bypassing their chemical production processes.