Grain trade groups say USDA’s biotech regulations overhaul could disrupt global trade

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The Agriculture Department’s plan for a “radical” overhaul of the way it regulates biotech crops risks disrupting exports of U.S. farm commodities unless the changes are coordinated with importing countries, agribusiness groups say.

The organizations also are rejecting a proposed broad definition of biotechnology that would include gene editing. . .

In joint comments on the plan to USDA, trade groups that . . .that export grain, oilseeds and other products said that the proposal was “premature and potentially harmful to U.S. agriculture” because of the possible impact on trade.

The USDA plan, outlined in a 14-page document . . . is intended to accelerate the development of new crop traits that USDA believes pose little risk to the environment, with the side benefit of making it easier for public researchers and small companies to get their ideas to market. The new system USDA envisions would end or at least curtail what scientists consider unnecessary, redundant reviews of essentially the same traits.

. . . .

The grain and oilseed traders have been pushing the administration for months to ensure that any changes in regulation are coordinated with other countries, citing the impact of China’s rejection of imports after discovering a Syngenta corn variety that hadn’t been approved there.

In the joint comments, the Corn Refiners Association,  National Grain and Feed Association, Corn Refiners Association, National Oilseed Processors Association, North American Export Grain Association and the North American Millers Association said going forward with the overhaul nolw could harm U.S. agriculture.

Read full, original post: Grain trade alarmed by USDA biotech plans

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