Arcadia Biosciences responds to EU Court ruling regarding mutagenesis
Arcadia Biosciences responded to the recent ruling by the European Union Court of Justice regarding mutagenesis techniques and GMOs. On July 25, the EU Court of Justice ruled that organisms resulting from modern mutagenesis techniques are subject to the same regulations as transgenic organisms containing genes from other species. As a result, the use of modern gene-editing technologies like CRISPR-Cas9 and others may not be commercially viable for companies and academic researchers focused on improving plants to meet the challenges of a growing population in a time of climate uncertainty. The EU ruling also indicates that mutagenesis techniques currently regarded to be safe are exempt from the regulations. "Arcadia is focused on commercializing traits developed using TILLING, a non-GM mutagenesis technique developed by Arcadia scientists and widely accepted as traditional plant breeding," said Raj Ketkar, president and CEO of Arcadia. "Our proprietary TILLING libraries and pipeline of unique traits in soybeans, vegetables and wheat, including our GoodWheat ingredients, deliver innovative nutritional benefits for consumers and production benefits for growers, and are not subject to the EU ruling. However, Arcadia will continue to utilize innovations like CRISPR-Cas9 to accelerate commercialization of value-added plants in regions such as the U.S., where such modern gene-editing techniques are not regulated as GMOs," Ketkar said. "We will leverage our unique TILLING capabilities along with other technologies to commercialize consumer food ingredients and crop enhancement traits, in line with the requirements of each geographical market."