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should we be afraid of “NBT”, considered as the new GMOs?

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Celine Geraud
06:13, November 11, 2022modified to

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06:50, November 11, 2022

In France, the cultivation of GMOs is strictly prohibited but in 2050, we may consume foods from another genetic manipulation, the “new breeding techniques” (NBT), translated into French as “new selection techniques” . A boon for agriculture or a danger for consumers? Europe 1 takes stock.

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You are familiar with GMOs, these much criticized genetically modified organisms. Banned in France, they could however be replaced by another genetic manipulation, NBT (for new breeding techniques, editor’s note). For the moment, only a variety of maize modified to resist insect pests can be grown in Europe, but by 2050 this could change. Should we therefore be afraid of it, despite a certain interest in agriculture?

A more natural technique

Unlike GMOs, NBTs do not cross the species barrier. It’s a more natural genetic manipulation technique. The aim is to make the cereals, fruits and vegetables of tomorrow more resistant to climate change and disease.

“We will take wheat grown in France and in it, we can consider copying the characteristics of sequences that we have found in wheat in China or in another country, and which can confer resistance, for example, to drought. increased”, explains Pierre Barret, who conducts research on NBTs in the genetics and ecophysiology of cereals unit at Inrae.

Objective: to diversify our diet

The other ambition of the NBTs is to enrich our diet, according to the specialist. “We will be able to domesticate plants which today are wild plants or semi-wild plants and bring them into the food chain and therefore increase the number of plants we will be able to eat and therefore diversify our diet”, explains he.

In the meantime, only a deregulation of European legislation on GMOs would allow these promises to materialize.

Source: Europe1

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