Prepare for prettier produce, people.
In the future, you may notice that your white button mushrooms stay fresh-looking longer and take more time to turn brown. That’s because last week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture confirmed it will not regulate the sale of white button mushrooms that have been genetically altered using a technique called CRISPR.
The Washington Post reports this marks the first time a CRISPR-altered food is on the path to being sold to and eaten by the public.
The CRISPR technique edits the mushroom’s DNA, allowing it to resist bruising and browning over time in a way that other mushrooms can’t. Because altering the mushroom doesn’t include introducing foreign DNA from other organisms — its own browning enzyme is simply “turned off” — it isn’t subject to the USDA’s standard regulations on genetically modified foods.