Research Highlight: Knocking out consumer concerns and regulator’s rules with CRISPR/Cas

When is a genome-edited plant a GMO (and subject to GMO-restrictions)? Wolter and Puchta summarize two important papers that show that CRISPR/Cas genome editing can be achieved in wheat and rice without the introduction of foreign DNA (making these plants “not GMO”), by delivering complexes of enzyme and guide RNA. The authors conclude: “We will only be able to address challenges of the world, including ensuring sufficient food supply, if we evaluate newly developed technologies for their risk potential and their sustainability in a rational way. Hopefully, the two publications discussed here will help to achieve this goal and make the CRISPR/Cas technology more accessible for use in agriculture all over the globe.” Genome Biol. 10.1186/s13059-017-1179-1