Nexgen Plants has received notification from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) that its virus resistant tomato variety is nongenetically modified (non-GM) and does not fall under regulation requirements in the U.S.
The virus resistant product developed by Nexgen Plants has been declared a non-regulated article under the “Am I Regulated?” process by Biotechnology Regulatory Services of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), an agency of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). This decision is consistent with a previous assessment by the same regulatory agency that a salttolerant rice variety developed by Nexgen Plants using INTtrait technology was also deemed non-regulated.
The plants developed with INTtrait do not contain any foreign DNA. Instead, native plant DNA is assembled in a manner to confer a novel trait to the plant. The same occurs by crossing plants, native plant DNA is reorganized and a new genetic make-up is obtained. “Imagine DNA as building blocks that can be rearranged to create a new piece. This is the core of INTtrait technology. This approach based on native plant DNA can be complementary to other gene editing technologies like CRISP-R to develop plants that exhibit disease resistance and other economically important traits”, explained Philippe Hervé, CEO of Nexgen Plants.
Nexgen Plants is dedicated to translating science into valuable commercial and societal benefits. “Traditionally, farmers have warded off virus infections by targeting the insects that spread them. Now, however, the likelihood of virus transmission is set to increase with a reduced use of insecticides. Our technology provides the plants with an up-to-date version of the DNA template needed to fight the virus without interfering with the defense mechanism itself”, Philippe Hervé said. With the USDA confirmation, the company is now looking forward to partner with agricultural and food companies to develop new plant-based products and continue to help farmers and growers to produce healthy food while preserving the environment. The company will continue to search for innovative and sustainable plant health solutions.