Seed World

First CRISPR-Designed Food Released in the U.S.

Pairwise released their new Conscious Greens in the U.S. Photo: Pairwise

On May 16, Pairwise announced the launch of its new gene edited leafy green called Conscious Greens under its Conscious Foods brand, according to a release. The product is the first food introduced to the U.S. developed with CRISPR technology and was cobranded with Performance Food Group’s (PFG) Peak Fresh Produce brand.

“We’re proud to be bringing the first CRISPR food product to the U.S. We set out to solve an important problem, that most lettuce isn’t very nutritious, and other types of greens are too bitter or too hard to eat. Using CRISPR, we’ve been able to improve new types of nutritious greens to make them more desirable for consumers, and we did it in a quarter of the time of traditional breeding methods,” said Haven Baker, Pairwise co-founder and chief business officer, in the release.

“Launching Conscious Greens through this exciting partnership with PFG, is a major milestone in achieving our mission to build a healthier world through better fruits and vegetables.”

Conscious Greens are field-grown “superfood greens” that eat like lettuce but were improved using CRISPR technologies. Pairwise sought to improve both the taste and nutrition in leafy greens — this new product “offers a versatile new option for chefs and salad lovers alike.” Conscious greens are created from nutritiously rich mustard greens with luxe purple and deep green leaves — and the blend is now available in select restaurants and outlets in the PFG’s operator network — including locations in Springfield, Mass., Minneapolis, Minn. And St. Louis, Mo.

“We are committed to bringing innovation to our customers and pleased to partner with Pairwise to help take Conscious Greens products to market,” said Bob Warnock, vice president of produce at PFG. “These products are innovative and make a great addition to our existing top-quality line of Peak Fresh Produce products.”

Conscious Greens will be shipping to U.S. grocery stores later this year, as part of a broader Conscious Foods portfolio of produce developed with CRISPR technology.

It’s worth noting that Canada recently issued its long-awaited guidance concerning gene editing, with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency confirming that plant breeders are free to use the technology without fear of it triggering Canada Plant with Novel Traits legislation. Read more here.