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Waste-reducing crops?
A new potato variety that doesn’t turn dark grey or black when bruised has been approved in Canada. Potatoes are a somewhat delicate crop, so bruising can happen quite easily, even though farmers and processors take many steps to prevent it. Bruised potatoes don’t make their way into the store; instead, they are added to that food waste total. In the new Innate Potato, the enzyme causing bruising has been deactivated, so that the tuber won’t turn brown for several days, compared to just minutes for a conventional spud.
This same technology has been applied the Arctic Apple – another Canadian innovation. Apples start to oxidize when cut. This change turns the fruit’s  esh brown, making the apples less appealing to processors and consumers. By using modern genetic technology to turn off the gene that helps apples oxidize, the Arctic Apple resists browning for a longer period of time. This can help reduce waste.
Could science bring peanuts back to school lunches?
Allergies have all but taken peanut butter and jelly sandwiches – that old lunchtime favourite – out of our schools. But science may be able to bring peanuts back to popularity with the development of allergen-reduced varieties. A new technology called CRISPR that allows plant breeders to edit speci c genes within a plant could make a hypoallergenic peanut a reality. CRISPR has been described as a tiny pair of DNA scissors. In simple terms, once the genes responsible for the major allergens in peanuts are identi ed, CRISPR could remove them, and plant breeders could use what’s left to breed new peanut plants with reduced allergenicity. It’s a prime example of how foods of the future may be customizable to  t the needs of speci c consumers.
Do GMOs cause cancer?
No. There is no reputable, peer-reviewed scienti c evidence that GMO foods cause cancer or any other health problems.70 According to researchers like
Dr. Kevin Folta, a professor in horticultural sciences at the University of Florida, future generations of GMO foods could actually to help prevent cancer and other common or chronic illnesses.
Young corn plants
Curing disease and reducing food waste – naturally?
There’s a natural technology in all living organisms that could cure disease, reduce food waste, and improve the quality of the food we eat. Ribonucleic acid interference – RNAi for short – is a natural process in all plants and animals that works like an on-off switch for genes. For example, the creators of a new non-browning Arctic Apple used RNAi to turn off the gene that causes apples to brown when someone cuts or bites into them. The same approach means the Innate Potato won’t turn a dark grey or black when bruised, thereby reducing food waste. RNAi has also saved much of the world’s papayas from a disease called papaya ringspot virus that threatened to wipe out the crop.
Simply put, with RNAi, scientists are using the information that is already inside a plant to modify or improve its behaviour or characteristics – and since the human body can’t absorb DNA through
digestion, eating such crops can’t affect a person’s genes.
DID YOU KNOW?
In 2013 alone, biotechnology helped farmers reduce global carbon dioxide emissions by the equivalent of taking 12.4 million cars o  the road for a whole year.71
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