EPA decision to tighten oversight of gene-edited crops draws mixed response

Friday, June 2, 2023 - 16:53 in Mathematics & Economics

When the CRISPR gene editor landed in U.S. plant science labs a decade ago, allowing researchers to tweak a crop’s own DNA instead of pasting in foreign genes, hopes rose that it would pave the way for looser regulation of genetically modified crops. Last year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) gave plant scientists much of their wish, exempting certain gene-edited changes to plants. But the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is taking a tougher stance. In a final rule published last week, EPA said that like USDA, it will exempt gene-edited plants from an in-depth review process if the change could have been achieved with conventional breeding. But under its mandate to ensure safety for humans and wildlife, EPA will still require developers to submit data showing...

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