CRISPR gaining momentum

Shorthand for “clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats,” CRISPR is a form of biotechnology that is poised to go mainstream, IFIC said. The technology, which edits an organism’s genes in a targeted way rather than splicing in genes from other organisms, comes without the stigma of other biotechnology applications and may gain consumer acceptance. The U.S. Department of Agriculture in 2016 determined it does not need to approve individual applications of CRISPR because transgenics are not involved.

Despite the controversy surrounding genetically modified organisms, one third of Americans surveyed said they need more information about biotechnology in order to make an informed decision. Less than one-fourth of consumers see no application for biotechnology whatsoever in food production, IFIC found.