How can CRISPR-mediated genetic engineering impact industrial productivity and nature?

Using CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats) to genetically modify food may present a viable solution for addressing famine in countries facing food shortages. The primary challenges faced by the farming industry revolve around developing cost-effective crops that are disease-resistant and tolerant to environmental pertubations. With the advent of this easily adaptable genetic technology, it is foreseeable for farmers to produce hardier grains that are resilient to minor droughts, as well as pests and diseases. Bacterial infestations which decimate crops regularly in Asia and Africa can be avoided by editing the genes that render plants susceptible to infection.1 Other changes can be implemented as regulatory bodies such as the FDA begin to evaluate the cost-benefit analysis of using CRISPR.

1. C. Bae, et al., "Infection processes of xylem-colonizing pathogenic bacteria: possible explanations for the scarcity of qualitative disease resistance genes against them in crops," Theor Appl Genet 128(7):1219-1229, 2015.