Will new GMO labeling law apply to CRISPR crops?

Genetic Literacy Project - …Earlier this year, the USDA gave the greenlight to CRISPR mushrooms engineered to not brown. It wrote that because the new mushroom “does not contain any introduced genetic material” it isn’t… subject to the agency’s GMO regulations.

But a new bill quietly passed and signed into law at the end of July seeks to change that.

The law…[defines] “bioengineered” as such:

(A) that contains genetic material that has been modified through in vitro recombinant deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) techniques; and
(B) for which the modification could not otherwise be obtained through conventional breeding or found in nature.

The law, in other words… significantly expands the definition of what we consider “genetically modified.”

Under the new regulations, for example, the non-browning CRISPR mushroom might be considered exempt, since the gene deletion is similar to a mutation achieved… through “conventional” breeding. But it seems far more likely that the law would apply, because the mushrooms are indeed modified in vitro using recombinant DNA techniques.

. . . .

The new law… further muddles the definition of genetically modified… broadening it to potentially include anything with genes that have been tinkered with in the lab.