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Gene-Edited Crops Pioneer Calyxt Crashes, Giving the Lie to Deregulation Claims

As governments around the world are lobbied by industry with claims gene editing can deliver rapid solutions to our food and farming problems — they just need deregulation, the company that pioneered gene-edited crops in the lax regulatory environment of the US is considering selling its assets amid plummeting revenues and share prices.

Calyxt was the first to market gene-edited soybeans in 2019. The beans are genetically engineered to produce high oleic oil. You might think anyone wanting high oleic oils could just buy olive oil but Calyxt was primarily targeting the processed foods markets by promoting its oil as a healthier alternative to commodity soybean oils that produce trans fats when cooked at high temperatures, though no research directly showed health benefits.

Calyxt was also reported to have other “consumer-focused” gene-edited foods in the pipeline, like high fibre wheat and reduced browning potatoes.