22nd Century Group and North Carolina State University have developed several new very-low-nicotine (VLN) tobacco varieties that contain no foreign DNA and no trace of genetic modification.
The new varieties are suited for use in the 22nd Century’s X-22 smoking-cessation product in development and will also form the basis of other 22nd Century VLN products.
The absence of foreign DNA or traces of genetic modification means the VLN varieties will not be subject to burdensome regulations and import restrictions on GMO products in many countries.
22nd Century is in contact with marketers and distributors in Japan, India and Korea to facilitate the import of products based on the company’s new tobaccos.
According to the company, the new VLN tobacco varieties exhibit improved ripening and curing qualities. One of 22nd Century’s new non-GMO lines is based on a flue-cured variety known for its superior growing characteristics and curability, while another is based on one of the most widely grown air-cured burley tobaccos, which has excellent disease resistance and yield potential.
“We are absolutely delighted that we have achieved our goal of producing non-GMO very-low-nicotine tobacco,” said Paul Rushton, 22nd Century’s vice president for plant biotechnology.
“Because our new non-GMO varieties contain no foreign DNA, these proprietary varieties will open up huge new markets around the world. What’s more, 22nd Century’s second-generation non-GMO VLN tobacco varieties produce an even higher quality tobacco that will further improve our very-low-nicotine finished products.”
“We are extremely pleased that our project with 22nd Century has been such a success,” said Ralph Dewey, the principal investigator at North Carolina State University.
“These exciting new varieties will create important new very-low-nicotine tobacco products that will avoid the GMO label. We are also pleased that our projects with 22nd Century are ongoing and that we very well may produce exciting additional VLN varieties in the coming months.”
22nd Century Group is a plant biotechnology company focused on tobacco harm reduction and cannabis research.