To the Guardian.

Your May 30, 2019 article about Crispr gene-editing of food missed the world-changing implications of the global “gene rush” underway. With cheap gene-altering technology in hand, thousands of labs are scrambling to commercialize new GMOs. Everything with DNA is up for grabs—algae, bacteria, fish, trees, insects, all of it. 

Here’s two glaring points you missed.

  1. Once released, gene-edited organisms crossbreed and contaminate the gene pool—irreversibly.

Unlike chemical spills, genetic pollution spreads over time. Now multiply that by tens of thousands of lab-altered species. A better headline for your article might have been:

Gene Editing May Replace Nature

  • The most common result of genetic engineering is surprise side-effects.

Recent articles in Nature Biotechnology, Nature Communications, Genome Biology, Trends in Plant Science and The Plant Genome all reveal that CRISPR—biotech’s poster child for a better world—produces unexpected, potentially life-threatening outcomes.