Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Unregulated shrooms: GMO mushroom gets clearance from USDA

Apr 18, 2016

Image result for mushrooms The US Department of Agriculture has said that it will not regulate a genetically modified mushroom designed to be more resilient and resistant to browning. The GMO shroom was created using the gene-altering tool CRISPR.

The USDA recently told Yinong Yang, a plant pathologist at Pennsylvania State University, that the common white button mushroom which he engineered will not have to undergo the department’s regulatory process.

Yang created the mushroom by targeting a family of genes that encodes an enzyme causing browning. Yang successfully eliminated six polyphenol oxidase enzymes, reducing their effect on the mushroom by 30 percent, according to Nature.

“The anti-browning trait reduces the formation of brown pigment (melanin), improving the appearance and shelf life of mushroom, and facilitating automated mechanical harvesting,” the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) wrote on April 13.

The USDA decided against regulatory action given that foreign DNA was not involved in the alternation of the mushroom’s genetic code. Recent gene-editing techniques, including CRISPR, which stands for Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeat, do not require the introduction of foreign organisms, leaving them outside the reach of USDA oversight. 

Read more http://rinf.com/alt-news/newswire/unregulated-shrooms-gmo-mushroom-gets-clearance-from-usda/ 

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