Prudent regulation, national registry sought for gene-edited products
With gene-edited products nearing the marketplace, six major consumer and conservation groups called on Wednesday for "effective, science-based government regulation" of the sector, including a national registry of gene-edited plants and animals. By contrast, they said, the USDA has "substantially deregulated gene-edited plants and proposed a similarly minimal oversight system for gene-edited animals."
New USDA regulation waives review of many biotech plants
Three decades into the agricultural biotechnology era, the USDA said on Thursday that it will exempt genetically engineered plants from pre-market reviews if they are unlikely to pose an environmental risk. Opponents of the move said it means "a majority of genetically engineered and gene-edited plants will now escape any oversight" by the USDA.
Balance safety, innovation in gene-edited animals, says FDA chief
Gene editing has enormous potential to improve health and food production, but innovation must be governed by well-rooted standards of safety and effectiveness, said FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn. "The agency is a trusted global regulator and we are committed to overseeing this space in a manner that fosters innovation, protects consumer confidence and protects the public health."
Last-ditch fight against CRISPR deregulation in Australia
A government decision to deregulate gene-editing tools such as CRISPR met a last-stop challenge in the Australian Senate, with an organic farmers’ group expressing concerns that it will be “sacrificed for the sake of unregulated GMO tech.”
Green light for gene-edited animals? Maybe.
At some point, the Food and Drug Administration might exempt gene-edited food animals from regulatory review, said Laura Epstein, a senior policy analyst at FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine, on Tuesday. “We’re not there yet, but we are open to getting there in the future,” said Epstein …
Ibach: Gene editing might fit in organic agriculture
The USDA official overseeing organic agriculture said the sector, which rejects GMO crops along with the use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, might benefit from gene-edited varieties. “There is the opportunity to open the discussion,” said Agriculture Undersecretary Greg Ibach.
White House calls for light regulation of low-risk gene-edited crops and livestock
The three federal regulators of biotechnology, the USDA, EPA and FDA, were ordered by President Trump on Tuesday to modernize their handling of agricultural biotechnology, both to assure U.S. preeminence in the field and a safe food supply for a growing population. Referring to gene-edited …
USDA would exempt many genetically engineered plants from regulation
In its newest attempt to overhaul biotechnology rules adopted in 1987, the USDA said it would exempt new crop varieties created through techniques such as gene editing from regulatory review, so long as the modifications are similar to those achieved by traditional breeding and pose no plant-pest risks.
House USDA-FDA spending bill delays hog slaughter rule, blocks ERS/NIFA move
In its passage of the $153 billion USDA-FDA funding bill for fiscal 2020, the House Appropriations Committee included amendments that would delay implementation of a controversial Department of Agriculture hog slaughter rule and block the relocation of ERS and NIFA outside of D.C. The inclusion …
EU ruling: Gene editing is the same as ‘classical’ genetic modification
The relatively new field of gene editing is a form of genetic engineering, according to a European Court of Justice ruling that would make technology such as CRISPR subject to the same regulations as the “classical” genetic modification technology of the 1980s, reported BBC News.
EU justice official suggests relaxed rules for gene editing
Crops created by gene editing techniques such as CRISPR “might not need to be regulated by the strict European Union rules that govern genetically modified organisms,” said Nature, citing a formal opinion from an advocate general at the European Court of Justice.
Using CRISPR to create a ‘boys only’ cattle herd
One of the best-known scientists in the GMO world, Alison Van Eenennaam, “aims to create a bull that will father only male offspring” through a bit of gene editing with CRISPR, said MIT Technology Review.
Can gene editing stop citrus-greening disease?
Orange production in Florida has plummeted since the arrival of citrus-greening disease. This season's crop in the No. 1 U.S. citrus state is estimated at 71 million boxes, less than half of pre-disease levels, says Agri-Pulse. Clemson University researchers are looking for a cure that involves gene editing.
U.S. should broaden its safety review of new plant strains, says NAS panel
The National Academy of Sciences, pointing to the emergence of new technology such as gene editing and the sometimes startling effects of conventional plant breeding, said the government should conduct safety reviews of all new plant varieties that pose potential hazards, not only the results of genetic engineering.
Caution in Britain as U.S. greenlights CRISPR crops
Two gene-edited crops -- white button mushrooms and "waxy" hybrid corn -- are years from the market yet they already are creating turmoil in Britain over the use of gene-editing technology and the propriety of importing foods created with it, says The Guardian.