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GMO Avocados in Development

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola Fact Checked

gmo avocados

Story at-a-glance -

  • A group of U.S. and Mexican scientists have sequenced the genomes of Mexican and well-known Hass avocados
  • Researchers stated that their research to sequence the avocado genome was necessary in order to make the plants “accessible to modern genomic-assisted breeding efforts”
  • Genetic engineering (GE) could be used to fight avocado diseases and optimize growth in changing climates
  • It will likely be years before a GE avocado is created, as the plant takes years to mature, but this is where the research is headed in creating “avocados for the future”
  • Choosing organic will be the best way to avoid GE avocado, which may not be labeled as such

Avocados not only are one of the world’s healthiest fruits, they’re also among the most economically important, representing a $13 billion market in 2017. Avocados have been enjoyed since ancient times, but their DNA has been largely foreign — until now. A group of U.S. and Mexican scientists have sequenced the genomes of Mexican and well-known Hass avocados.

Their study, published in PNAS, reveals “ancient evolutionary relationships” that give clues to the fruit’s origins but also opens the floodgates to future genetic modification of this already perfect food. Indeed, as The New York Times put it, the research is “likely to become the foundation for breeding techniques and genetic modifications designed to produce avocados that can resist disease or survive in drier conditions.”

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