ASTA Welcomes Direction of USDA Plant Breeding Policy

  • On January 26, 2017

On January 18, USDA released for pre-publication a proposed rule-making notice related to plant breeding innovation. ASTA has been actively engaged in discussions with the agency throughout the rule-making process, and is pleased that the proposal recognizes plant breeders’ long track record of safety and quality.

ASTA’s overarching policy is that plant varieties developed through the latest breeding methods should not be differentially regulated if they are similar to or indistinguishable from varieties that could have been produced through earlier breeding methods.

We’re pleased that USDA’s proposal recognizes that some applications of gene editing result in plant varieties that are essentially equivalent to varieties developed through more traditional breeding methods, and treats these varieties accordingly,” said LaVigne. “While we’re still reviewing the proposal in detail, this approach will help ensure that U.S. agriculture remains at the forefront of innovation and maintains its leadership role globally.”

Click here for ASTA’s full press release. Links to the full documents from USDA and FDA can be found at the following links:

340 proposed rule

FDA genome editing in plants

FDA genome editing in animals

FDA regulation of mosquito products