Same old genes …

Same old genes but a super crop

A small London company is working on compounds that could produce new super crops without messing with their genetic makeup.
NeoVentures Biotechnology has developed a compound that’s sprayed on wheat at minimal cost to produce protein levels that are perfect for bakers and food processors.
“If we can change the way the genes respond to the environment, we can increase the consistency of the product,” says NeoVentures chief executive Gregory Penner.
The product is applied once the grain is growing and doesn’t affect its genetic makeup.
Genetically-modified (GMO) crops, including corn and soybeans, are grown in North America, but have been banned in Europe due to food-safety concerns.
Attempts to develop GMO wheat have been unsuccessful, but Penner said his company’s technology allows for improved grain without genetic manipulation.
“We do not change the genetics in any way . . . This is a way to deliver improved value, improved traits into wheat without complications,” he said.
Protein levels are tested before the grain is sold and wheat with the ideal levels fetches an extra 50 cents per bushel, which would let Canadian farmers pocket an extra $22 million a year in the domestic market alone.

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