Monsanto announced on Thursday that it has struck a deal which will allow the biotech giant to use the gene-editing tool CRISPR/Cas9 on agricultural products. It is the first company to receive approval to deploy CRISPR/Cas9 for agricultural use.
By Daniel Oberhaus | MOTHERBOARD
The license was approved by the Broad Institute, a genomic research center maintained by MIT and Harvard, and will be used by Monsanto to create genetically modified plants that are tailored to its needs. The “wide array of crop improvements” that Monsanto sees as enabled by CRISPR/Cas9 could mean anything from drought resistant crops to agricultural products that are designed to taste and look more appealing to the consumer.
“Genome-editing techniques present precise ways to dramatically improve the scale and discovery efficiency of new research that can improve human health and global agriculture,” said Issi Rozen, the Broad Institute’s Chief Business Officer. “We are encouraged to see these tools being used to help deliver responsible solutions to help farmers meet the demands of our growing population.”