“Genetically Engineered” Food Is Coming to Stores with No Labeling

Tom Adams, the CEO, and co-founder of Pairwise, revealed a groundbreaking solution to the unappealing taste of mustard greens. 

Despite being a rich source of essential vitamins and minerals, their bitter flavor dissuades many from consuming them. 

In an interview with Wired, Adams shared that Pairwise has effectively introduced an entirely new salad category to address this issue.

Pairwise, an agricultural biotechnology company established in 2017, has made significant strides in its funding endeavors. 

By 2021, they had successfully secured $90 million, accumulating a total funding amount of $115 million. 

The primary objective behind this financial support was to introduce fresh varieties of fruits and vegetables to the market.

This innovative offering marks the introduction of the first-ever CRISPR- type edited food available to consumers in the United States.

Using the revolutionary CRISPR gene-editing process, scientists at Pairwise successfully modified the DNA of mustard greens by eliminating a specific gene responsible for their pungent taste.

Pairwise initially targeted restaurants and locations in St. Louis, Springfield, Massachusetts, and the Minneapolis-St Paul area to introduce these modified greens to the market. 

Following this initial rollout, the greens will eventually go to grocery stores across the United States, starting with the Pacific Northwest region.

While Pairwise acknowledges its biotechnology origins, it deliberately presents itself as a pioneering food startup seeking to establish a distinction. 

The company describes the gene-edited greens as a vibrant blend of superfood leafy greens, boasting a fresh and distinct flavor while offering up to twice the nutritional value of romaine lettuce. 

By leveraging CRISPR technologies to enhance taste and nutrition in produce, Conscious Greens, as they are named, are cultivated in the field, and can be enjoyed as lettuce, providing a versatile and appealing alternative for chefs and salad enthusiasts alike.

To convey their intentions as altruistic and vital for improving Americans’ diets, Pairwise has launched an elaborate and polished PR campaign.

Since gene-edited foods are not classified as GMOs by regulators, they are not required to bear labeling. Surprisingly, a significant majority of 75% of Americans believe that gene-edited foods should be labeled.

As gene-edited foods become increasingly prevalent in the market, opting for organic foods is a reliable choice if you prefer to avoid them. 

Currently, organic foods cannot be gene-edited, providing a guarantee against such modifications.

Another practical approach is connecting with local farmers who consciously refuse this technology. 

By cultivating as much of your own food as feasible or supporting farmers who share your concerns, you will have complete control over the contents of your food supply and the assurance of avoiding gene-edited products.