Agricultural Economics Department


Date of this Version



Cornhusker Economics, September 8, 2021


Copyright 2021 University of Nebraska.


New Plant Engineering Techniques (NPETs) refers to new biotechnology tools that allow alterations to a plant’s genome by adding, resequencing, or silencing some of its genes or combined with genes from a crossable plant (so-called cisgenesis). NPETs include genome editing (GenEd) tools, such as Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR), and transcription activator-like
effector nucleases (TALEN). These techniques lead to mutations in plants, which could have been obtained with conventional hybridization and genetic mutation techniques. For that reason, they may be perceived as more natural. These techniques might raise fewer concerns than transgenic techniques incorporating foreign genes into a plant leading to genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
GMOs are as safe as conventional plant substitutes. Nevertheless, consumers in most countries have discounted if not rejected GMOs, especially in Europe. It is important to gauge the social acceptability of these NPETs and their market potential.