First Ever EU Field Trials of GE Wheat Prove Out
The EU has conducted its first-ever field trials of gene edited wheat, and the results give proof to the benefits. The subject of the trials was a new wheat strain that’s edited to reduce the formation of asparagine - an amino acid that when cooked becomes acrylamide, a potential carcinogen that food processors are very eager to control.
Levels of asparagine in the GE wheat were up to 50 percent lower than the control variety Cadenza. And once processed and cooked, the levels of acrylamide were also significantly reduced by as much as 45 percent.
These field trials were an important step beyond the lab to determine the viability of the new GE wheat in actual seasonal production settings, and not just under glass.
The results are also timely, as the Genetic TEchnology (Precision Breeding) Bill, which may form the framework for the release and marketing of GE crops in the EU, is in its final stages through Parliament.