Posted by Richard Willett - Memes and headline comments by David Icke Posted on 11 June 2024

Another GMO ‘Vanity Product:’ Bayer to Sell Gene-Edited Salad Greens in U.S. Stores

Biotech giant Bayer last week signed an exclusive licensing agreement with Pairwise, a genetic-based food startup, to develop and market its CRISPR-edited mustard greens, modified to be less bitter. Critics say the products haven’t been evaluated for health or environmental risks and could contain toxins or allergens.

Chemical giant Bayer last week signed an exclusive licensing agreement with Pairwise, a genetic-based food startup, to develop and market its CRISPR-edited mustard greens.

Pairwise was the first company to bring produce created with the gene-editing technology known as CRISPR to the U.S. market when last year it started selling its mustard greens in some restaurants, hotels and retirement centers in a few U.S. cities.

The mustard greens are engineered to be less bitter than traditional mustard greens so they can be eaten raw in a salad, the company said. Bayer plans to amp up distribution, selling the greens in U.S. grocery stores this year.

CRISPR-edited produce is new and not commonly available, although Bayer said it hopes to change that. Bayer’s agreement with Pairwise isn’t limited to the mustard-turned-salad greens.

“The latest deal creates value beyond just selling a product, as it also comes with rights to use the knowledge, intellectual property, and technology going forward,” JD Rossouw, head of Vegetables Research & Development at Bayer said in a statement.

As part of Bayer’s “open innovation approach,” the agreement gives the company the rights to develop and commercialize 10 varieties of Pairwise-edited greens and to develop new varieties using the company’s proprietary Fulcrum Platform.

Pairwise touts the platform’s ability to make “17 precise edits in a single plant,” as proof of its success.

For its mustard greens, the startup removed several copies of a gene responsible for the bitter flavor. “We think people will really like the taste,” Bayer’s Anne Williams told Wired.

She also said Bayer is in conversation with farms and salad companies about how to grow and package the greens.

But Claire Robinson, managing editor of GMWatch, told The Defender that Bayer’s gene-edited mustard greens have not been examined for health or environmental risks.

“They could contain toxins or allergens,” she said. “We just don’t know.”

Robinson added:

“And why anyone would want to genetically modify mustard greens to make them less, well, mustardy, is a complete mystery to me. The whole point of eating mustard greens is their pungent and bitter taste, and the compounds that make them pungent and bitter also happen to provide the health benefits. People who want their mustard greens to taste like lettuce can eat lettuce.

“In my view, this is yet another example of a ‘solution’ (GM) looking for a pretend ‘problem.’ It’s yet another vanity product of the GMO industry.”

The first CRISPR-edited produce, a tomato, was developed by Tokyo-based startup Sanatch Seed and debuted in Japan in 2021. The tomatoes are engineered to increase gamma-aminobutyric acid or GABA, a neurotransmitter shown to decrease stress.

As with Bayer’s salad greens, the gene-edited tomato also was introduced to the market despite no studies demonstrating that it has the intended health effects or is even safe.

Read More: Another GMO ‘Vanity Product:’ Bayer to Sell Gene-Edited Salad Greens in U.S. Stores

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