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5 Countries, Including U.S., Waive Safety Regulations for New Gene-Edited Corn

Corteva’s “waxy” corn was developed using CRISPR technology, a genome editing technique the giant seed and pesticide company is selling to regulators as “non-GMO” in order to bypass risk assessments and safety regulations.

At least five countries — Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile and the U.S. — have approved a variety of maize genetically modified (GM) with a genome editing technique called CRISPR, without subjecting the crop to the risk assessments and regulations for GM crops. Other countries could soon follow.

The GM maize is produced by U.S.-based Corteva, the world’s second largest seed company and fourth largest pesticides company. Corteva describes the variety as a “waxy corn” which, like conventional waxy corn varieties, produces a starch high in amylopectin and low in amylose. In this case, Corteva used genetic engineering to knock out the genes responsible for producing amylose from its non-waxy hybrid maize varieties.

A detailed profile of Corteva’s GM waxy corn was published this week by the Canadian Biotechnology Action Network (CBAN).