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.