The American Soybean Association (ASA) is pleased to see the U.S Department of Agriculture (USDA) announce a final rule updating and modernizing its biotechnology regulations under the Plant Protection Act. The Sustainable, Ecological, Consistent, Uniform, Responsible, Efficient (SECURE) rule significantly updates USDA’s plant biotechnology regulations for the first time in three decades, according to Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue.
The new process established by this rule is expected to lead to lower regulatory costs and timeframes for the development of new plant varieties for developers, significantly granting soybean growers quicker access to more affordable bean varieties incorporating a broader array of innovations.
“We are pleased with USDA’s final rule streamlining the regulatory process for low-risk biotech crops to come to market,” said Kentucky soy grower Caleb Ragland, who chairs ASA’s Regulatory Committee. “By establishing a common-sense regulatory process to ensure new biotech plants varieties are reviewed quickly with predictable timelines and allowed to go to market if they pose no risk, soybean growers can remain efficient and competitive through this continued access to innovation.”
USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) stated in the announcement of the final rule that it, “provides a clear, predictable, and efficient regulatory pathway for innovators, facilitating the development of genetically engineered organisms that are unlikely to pose plant pest risks.”
ASA has advocated for improvements to make the regulatory process transparent, less cumbersome, based in sound science, and in a way that helps farmers do their jobs more efficiently and sustainably.