'Genetically Modified' definition from Oxford is "containing genetic material that has been artificially altered so as to produce a desired characteristic".

One of Boise's largest companies J.R. Simplot is going to be busy with berries over the next few years as they undergo a massive project. The Boise Company and Plant Science Inc are joining forces to create genetically modified strawberries. They hope to share the fruits of their labor -see what I did there ;)- with Idaho and the rest of the Unites States soon.

According to the Associated Press, "An Idaho company that successfully brought genetically modified potatoes to the market announced an agreement to help a California-based plant breeding company grow strawberries they say will stay fresh longer and have a longer growing season. J.R. Simplot Company and Plant Sciences Inc., both privately-held companies, said they expect to launch the first commercially available, gene-edited strawberries within a few years."

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I love strawberries, like really love strawberries, but maybe not as much as my son. When my now 8 year old son Titus was about 18 months, I couldn't find him for a little while. Finally I went in the side yard to discover him sitting in the middle of my strawberry plants eating all of the berries, regardless if they were ripe or not.

Titus strawberry patch, photo by Nikki West
Titus strawberry patch, photo by Nikki West

Having the ability, space or time to have fresh strawberry plants in your home or yard is not always feasible. As much as I loved having them, it has been a few years since I had plants producing fresh berries. Instead I opt for Whole Foods or Albertsons strawberries because they tend to be the freshest and last the longest in the Boise area from my experience. Simplot and Plant Sciences is hoping to enhance strawberries to make them fresher, sweeter and last longer.

Strawberries, Photo by Massimiliano Martini on Unsplash
Strawberries, Photo by Massimiliano Martini on Unsplash

According to Newsweek, "The technology has already been approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration through the previous gene-modifying technique on the Simplot potatoes. The gene-editing being used on the strawberries replicates a natural process. There is no evidence that genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, are unsafe to eat, although some have ethical issues with the process."

What do you think is genetically modified crops a good or bad thing?

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