- The USDA announced it will not regulate a genetically-edited mushroom developed via the CRISPR-Cas 9 gene-editing technology. It is the first CRISPR-edited organism to be approved by the U.S. government.
- The mushroom has been genetically edited to resist browning. A Pennsylvania State University plant pathologist deleted one of six genes for a particular enzyme that leads to browning, which reduced that enzyme's activity by 30%.
- This mushroom does not require USDA regulation because the agency says it has no foreign DNA from plant pests, such as viruses or bacteria.
CRISPR technology has the potential to revolutionize the food supply by being a much faster gene-editing tool that could edit foods to potentially resist disease or weather changes or increase their nutritional value or sustainability. DuPont researchers are using the technology on commodity crops such as corn, soybeans, canola, rice, and wheat, which could be on the market in five to 10 years.
Preventing a fruit or vegetable from browning can improve flavor and texture, but even more importantly it can protect a food's shelf life. As food waste has increased to unsustainable levels, food waste reduction has become an industry-wide and nationwide goal.