On GMO Oats and Cheerios

I thought this was kind of interesting. Though I’m not necessarily convinced about the “never will be” angle.

Why There Are No GMO Oats (and Probably Never Will Be) – Modern Farmer: “Nevertheless, demand for oats has been falling for nearly a century, ever since mechanized equipment started taking over for horses on farms and roads. In fact, global acreage devoted to oats has fallen by 58 percent just in the past decade, according to General Mills. That’s in part because oats aren’t a particularly efficient or profitable crop. It takes more seed to produce an acre of oats than it does to produce an acre of other major crops, like corn. According to the USDA’s Economic Research Service, the average revenue per acre of corn in 2012 was $1,073. For soybeans, it was $596. For oats, it was a mere $245.

But that brings up another reason for the lack of research into genetic modification: oats are pretty hearty as it is, compared to other crops. They dominate fields and keep weeds out, and they generally need less herbicides and pesticides than other similar grains. And there’s another barrier: the oat genome itself. Commercial oats contain six chromosomes in their genomes, making them particularly difficult — and expensive — to modify.”