US: Regulations reviewed for GE crops

Brand new USDA regulations for crop biotechnology will begin phasing in during June 2020. The new “SECURE” rules (Sustainable, Ecological, Consistent, Uniform, Responsible, Efficient) govern what is — and isn’t — required for USDA review before going to market with a biotech crop.

These rules could have immediate impacts on research priorities, particularly if you already work in crop genetic improvement and/or plant transformation. They will also broadly reshape the future of crops developed using Genetic Engineering (GE). So, what are these new rules?

The USDA no longer requires review of:

  • New GE crop varieties that are similar to previously approved GE crops.
  • Single base pair substitutions or insertions/deletions (e.g. CRISPR gene editing).
  • Gene insertions from compatible plant species (g. cis genetics).
  • Foreign regulatory DNA (e.g. promoters, terminators, T-DNA).
  • Plants engineered using Agrobacterium-mediated transformation.

The USDA still requires regulatory review of:

  • New GE crops with novel mechanisms-of-action or gene combinations.
  • New GE crops containing foreign genes.
  • New GE crops containing Plant Incorporated Protectants (e.g. disease-resistance or pest-resistance genetics).

Read more at Plant Science Today.


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