Regulation of plants developed through new breeding techniques must ensure societal benefits

The potential societal benefits of genome editing are widely acknowledged by a range of stakeholders and include addressing urgent challenges for the environment, agriculture, human health, and nutrition. Globally, a poor diet is a strong but preventable risk factor for non-communicable diseases. A 2017 Gates Foundation-funded report surveying 195 countries found that 11 million deaths and 255 million disability-adjusted life-years were attributable to dietary risk factors1. In the USA, only 10% of adults eat the recommended quantity of fruits and vegetables each day, and by 2030, 50% of American adults are predicted to have obesity. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), “Despite Federal nutrition guidance, food industry promotional campaigns and encouragement from parents to ‘eat your vegetables,’ Americans’ consumption of fruits and, especially, of vegetables, has declined.”

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