Monsanto Acquires Licensing Rights for “Genetically Edited” Crops

breeding-technologyBy Derrick Broze

The biotechnology giant Monsanto has now partnered with the Broad Institute to develop seeds using genetic or genome editing technology. 

On Thursday, Monsanto announced a new partnership with the Broad Institute, a project of MIT and Harvard that focuses on a biomedical and genomic research. The new partnership grants Monsanto non-exclusive licensing for agriculture applications of CRISPR-Cas technology for use in seed development.

“The license to CRISPR-Cas from the Broad Institute provides access to an exciting tool for our growing body of genome-editing research,” said Tom Adams, Ph.D., biotechnology lead for Monsanto. “Genome-editing technology is complementary to our ongoing discovery research and provides an incredible resource to further unlock our world-leading germplasm and genome libraries.”

Using CRISPR-Cas technology for seed development was also discussed by a team of Italian researchers in August 2014 in Trends in Biotechnology. The researchers examined the public backlash against Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) and whether the public would be more receptive of Genetic Editing. The team was hopeful that “awareness of what makes these biotechnologies new and different” might lead to Genetically Edited Organisms (GEOs) being more widely accepted than their GMO counterparts.

While GM foods are created when foreign genes are inserted into a plant, genetic editing modifies “through the insertion, deletion, or altering of existing genes of interest,” which could be used to prevent a crop from turning brown. Monsanto is now hoping these differences will make the crops more marketable than GMO products.

Monsanto is not the only biotechnology company to invest in CRISPR technology. DuPont Pioneer has also struck a deal with Caribou Biosciences to license its own CRISPR crops. Monsanto and DuPont are hoping that both the public and the U.S. government are accepting of genetically edited crops. Technically, a crop edited via CRISPR is not a GMO, at least not in the fashion that most of the public understands.

Business Insider reports:

The US Department of Agriculture seems to agree, as does Monsanto. The USDA has already moved two crops made with Crispr — a type of mushroom and a type of corn — closer to grocery store shelves by opting not to regulate them like conventional GMOs. DuPont, the company making the corn, says it plans to see the crop in farmers’ fields in the next five years.

Based on the USDA’s decision not to regulate or label the genetically edited crops it is likely that Monsanto and DuPont will continue to invest in CRISPR technology. Business Insider notes that since 2013, “researchers have experimented with it in a number of crops, including oranges, potatoes, wheat, rice, and tomatoes.”

Another element of this story involves the use of CRISPR technology to create genetically engineered babies. In February 2016, Anti Media reported that Rathy Niakan, a stem cell scientist from London’s Francis Crick Institute, was granted a license to carry out experiments involving creating genetically engineered embryos using CRISPR-Cas9. This begs the question – do Monsanto and DuPont, companies with a history of involvement with bioweapons, have an interest in genetically engineered humans?

Genetically engineered human embryos and gene editing is reminiscent of Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World. It is also a theme in the 1997 film, Gattaca. In Gattaca, we see a future version of our world where genes decide one’s place in society. The practice amounts to an essential caste system. In this world, the wealthy and elite can afford to engineer their children and remove any possible “defects.” Those who are deemed genetically inferior are called “in-valids.” The film touches on genetic engineering, eugenics, and the moral implications of playing God with human life. Both Gattaca and Brave New World offer thought-provoking explanations of this new, growing reality.

What are your thoughts? Do you support Genetically Edited crops? Would you support CRISPR technology over GMOs? 

Derrick Broze is an investigative journalist and liberty activist. He is the Lead Investigative Reporter for ActivistPost.com and the founder of the TheConsciousResistance.com. Follow him on Twitter. Derrick is the author of three books: The Conscious Resistance: Reflections on Anarchy and Spirituality and Finding Freedom in an Age of Confusion, Vol. 1 and Finding Freedom in an Age of Confusion, Vol. 2

Derrick is available for interviews. Please contact [email protected]

This article may be freely reposted in part or in full with author attribution and source link.

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Also Read: Is Creating “Superhumans” the Next Arms Race?


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11 Comments on "Monsanto Acquires Licensing Rights for “Genetically Edited” Crops"

  1. CRISPR is just advanced GMO technology, it STILL results in a genetically modified organism either bloody way! I’m opposed to BOTH. Neither is safe, but CRISPR can be used as a virus to alter the DNA of creatures already living. They want to alter future organic life and and hack those already living. This is madness and extremely dangerous!

  2. I love how these huge corporations are ALWAYS trying to find a way to keep each and every one of us tiny little goofballs WELL FED. They just don’t want to see anyone go hungry! I bet they hardly ever sleep, tossing and turning and wishing that starving children halfway across the world had some of their precious Golden Rice. I’m just glad we have super rich and powerful people in the world that CARE SO MUCH!! Praise Jesus.

  3. desplorableSallyM | September 24, 2016 at 7:46 am | Reply

    They should be forced to eat it themselves. How about it Tom Adams – choke on your own gmo.

  4. They are trying to patent nature and should be stopped. Nature is to important to end up in court.

  5. This is simply augmenting plastic surgery …as in: “How do ya like me now?”…where APPEARANCE is everything…thing is… you need natures creations FIRST…& to have the extreme hubris, audacity & chutzpah to say they now OWN some aspect of biology… is absolutely mendacious semantic ‘double-speak’ orchestrated by their legions of bottom-feeding Liar/Lawyers up to their same old tricks of ‘separation & division’ that ye olde Hegelian dialect has been doing for them for millennia.

  6. This is simply & metaphorically speaking> augmenting plastic surgery…as in: “How do ya like me now?”…where ‘Appearance is Everything’…thing is…but you need natures creations FIRST!-does one not?…& then they have the extreme arrogance hubris & chutzpah to now imply that they now OWN an aspect of Mother Nature’s cornucopia…as this is now absolutely an ‘Entrainment’ form of prevaricating & mendacious semantic ‘double-speak’…orchestrated by their legions of bottom-feeding ‘Liar/Lawyers’ bending & twisting the narrative…essentially up to their same ol tricks of ‘Separation & Division’ machinations of ye olde Hegelian Dialect that has over shadowed the 99% by spinning this Grand Illusion for millennia…which reminds me of a certain black robed faux religious but actually a mercenary patriarchal/ misogynist ‘sodomy club’ cult… that elicits ‘cognitive dissonance’ with their old mind tricks of arguing that ‘black is really white’….capiche?

  7. Something evil this way comes… Oh, wait! It moved in long ago and has made itself an accepted part of our family! Now we think evil is good, war is peace, and freedom is slavery!

  8. Taking care of business! | September 25, 2016 at 1:35 am | Reply

    Monsanto, a better motto: “We deal in death. Like it–or something bad could happen.”

  9. Monsanto was originally prevented by the Courts from being granted this license. This is a direct result of the terms of the monopoly (merger?) with Bayer. Corporate deals supercede even the Rule of Law. It’s understandable when you realize that laws are enacted to criminalize citizens only, not corporations or the federal government.

  10. GMOs will end up being the greatest environmental disaster ever, so great a disaster that humanity will suffer a near extinction crisis.

  11. All GMO products should be banned. Russia has now done this for the health and safety of their own citizens and are planning to become a major producer of organic food for the world.

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