Soybean Association Supports USDA’s Rule Changes In Plant Breeding Regulations


American Soybean Association (ASA) reports:

The American Soybean Association (ASA) is broadly supportive of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service’s (APHIS) direction for its proposed rule changes to regulations in 7 CFR part 340, “Introductions of Organisms and Products Altered or Produced Through Genetic Engineering Which are Plant Pests or Which There is Reason to Believe are Plant Pests.”

“We are pleased with USDA’s science and risk-based approach outlined in the rule and ask that USDA work to finalize the rule to bring certainty to the industry. We urge the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to work with USDA so the agencies are aligned, and to coordinate internationally on biotechnology, particularly as it relates to gene editing,” said Caleb Ragland, Chair of ASA’s regulatory committee.

The bulk of ASA’s comments on the proposed rule involve clarity and transparency – offering suggestions to strengthen the rule by clarifying terms, outlining distinct timelines for approvals and steps within the approval process, and including a process for more transparency of available products in the marketplace, including certain gene-edited products.

“We appreciate that USDA took the time necessary to gather input from stakeholders in this rule. It has been more than 30 years since biotech regulations have been updated, and this process has been ongoing for many years and across administrations. Also, USDA is wisely focusing on the products themselves rather than the methods used to produce them,” said Ragland, concluding, “We look forward to a final rule that is based on sound science, spurs innovation, is transparent, and does not cause undue regulatory burdens for our food supply or the consumers that depend on it.”

Biotechnology is an essential tool in allowing our farmers to feed our communities while putting less strain our environment. With the right regulatory system, we can develop innovative ways to improve how we grow our food while reducing our impact on the planet. A clear, science-based regulatory system in the U.S. helps set an example and standard for regulatory systems of biotechnology internationally.


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