USDA has no plans to regulate “plants that could otherwise have been developed through traditional breeding techniques as long as they are not plant pests or developed using plant pests,” according to an announcement yesterday from the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS).
This includes a set of new techniques that are increasingly being used by plant breeders to produce new plant varieties that are indistinguishable from those developed through traditional breeding methods. The newest of these methods, such as genome editing, expand traditional plant breeding tools because they can introduce new plant traits more quickly and precisely, potentially saving years or even decades in bringing needed new varieties to farmers.
Gene editing was among the topics discussed during a panel last week at the Agri-Pulse Ag and Food Policy Summit. The panel included American Seed Trade Association CEO Andy LaVigne; Mary Kay Thatcher, Federal Lead for Syngenta; U.S. Grains Council CEO Tom Sleight; and Margaret Zeigler, Executive Director, Global Harvest Initiative.
Listen to the discussion here: Agri-Pulse Trade, Technology, and US Productivity Panel