The End of Chocolate?

The End of Chocolate?

A world without chocolate is impossible to fathom, and yet, scientists at the University of California, in partnership with Mars Chocolate, are working to prevent cacao plants from disappearing as early as 2050 because of warmer temperatures and dryer weather conditions, as predicted by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. 

As part of its “Sustainability in a Generation” initiative, Mars has teamed with UC Berkeley to try to save the cacao crops. Says Denise Young, global director of external communications at Mars, “This grant supports UC Berkeley’s research into exploring whether they can make a precise tweak to the cacao tree’s DNA using CRISPR technology [a tool for editing genomes] so that it’s no longer susceptible to two diseases that are serious concerns for cocoa farming communities in West Africa, where approximately 70 percent of the world’s cocoa is grown.” Research is still in its preliminary stages.