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Regulators to discuss whether gene edited crops should be allowed under organic label

| | November 7, 2016
Click image for larger version. Source Kevin Folta
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

[Editors note: Melody Meyer is the Vice President of Policy and Industry Relations for United Natural Foods(UNFI), a is a distributor of natural and organic foods, specialty foods, and related products in the United States and Canada. She is on the Board of Directors for the Organic Trade Association(OTA) and sits on the California Department of Food and Agriculture Organic Products Advisory Committee (COPAC).]

[As] I cross the continent yet again to have meetings and presentations at Expo East…I want to make sure everyone who cares about organic shows up for organic in a meaningful way.

melody_meyer…twice a year this hardworking group of volunteers deemed the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) holds a meeting where everyone can attend to express their viewpoints and exfoliate their thoughts.

At the next NOSB meeting, there will be discussion on excluded methods in organic production that aim to exclude some of the most cutting-edge gene editing techniques…

I stand on the side of caution here and believe these techniques need to be modulated, regulated and coordinated by the government so they do no unintended harm.

There is one caveat…certain genomic seed breeding techniques and the information they provide may need more investigation and discussion.

What these techniques do is allow one to cut and edit traits out of seeds with accuracy and speed. Changes and improvements can be achieved in a few years rather than a decade or two of traditional breeding.

If some gene editing techniques are forever banned from organic seed breeding, will we eventually become a Luddite bevy of breeders? Will it slow down our ability to make the changes needed to adapt organic agriculture to the climate changes we are witnessing?

Related article:  'Organic' label on non-food products is meaningless

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: If You Care About Organic, Show up for Organic

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