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Frontiers of Gene-Editing, and Why Calyxt Is One to Watch
by Jim Lane (Biofuels Digest) ... At its heart, it’s a company about transformation in basic food feedstocks. But where the technological imperative for years has been about, to use an example, more corn and cheaper corn — with the resulting focus on rate and yield — Calyxt is overtly focused on performance. On better food.
Specifically — products like reduced trans fat soybean oil. gluten-reduced wheat, lower saturated fat canola oil, improved quality potatoes. Dialed in at the gene level, through gene editing.
Now, the old food vs fuel paradigm doesn’t apply any more. There’sa temptation to turn the page and say something like — if it’s about petroleum or gas, that’s about energy. Woods, that’s energy. Corn, soybeans, that’s only about food. And never the twain shall meet.
But that’s old thinking, and old thinking can be dangerous thinking, just like old water can make you sick even though fresh water is an elixir of life. We are making foods, flavorings, and animal nutrition out of petroleum and natural gas — and we are making fuels, materials and much more out of plant-based technology.
Gene editing is like hybrids on steroids. We are not using any gene outside the species. In our case, the technology creates products that are not transgenic. The USDA has now taken a stand. As long as it is not transgenic, it is non-regulated. But we also believe in transparency, let it be in the open, so that the consumer can develop a point of view. READ MORE