Southeast Texas Edition
Bookmark and Share Email this page Email Print this page Print Feed Feed

Fungus Among Us

Genetically Altered Mushrooms Approved for Consumption

Bevan Young/Shutterstock.com

Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) is a new method of editing genomes of farm animals and food crops. White button mushrooms (Agaricus bisporus) that have been genetically modified to delay the natural browning process are the first CRISPR-edited organisms to receive approval from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Yinong Yang, a plant pathologist from Penn State University, crafted the modified mushrooms by targeting the family of genes responsible for the browning effect seen in produce when sliced and exposed to oxygen. Yang was able to reduce the browning enzyme’s work by 30 percent and was granted approval from the USDA because no foreign or altered DNA was integrated into the mushroom genome. The department only assesses whether there’s a risk that the new modified variety of an organism could become a weed or “pest” to other plants.

The mushrooms may still be subject to Food and Drug Administration or Environmental Protection Agency regulations. The National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine are in discussions about developing a new set of rules for the biotech industry in the next five to 10 years.


Source: Nature.com


This article appears in the February 2017 issue of Natural Awakenings.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More from Natural Awakenings

Thumbs-Up on Fats

Fat used to be the nemesis of good nutrition, but the latest research overturns that theory: The right fats actually keep us thin without harming our hearts.

Hello Gyro

Gyrotonic exercise, the latest trend in fitness studios, uses special equipment to enable smooth, circular motions that make the body more fluid and supple.

Forever Green

The latest creative and Earth-friendly options include converting remains into tree planters, jewelry, ocean reefs and even vinyl records.

Fearless Eating

The queasy stomach, brain fog or food cravings we’re experiencing might be caused by food sensitivities and a leaky gut—but there are some practical, simple solutions.

No Benefit to Cutting Fat in Cheese

Danish researchers found no difference in LDL “bad cholesterol” levels between people that ate low-fat cheese or regular-fat cheese for 12 weeks.

Add your comment: