Regulations based on ‘spurious, undocu­mented risks’ keeping GMO and gene-edited foods from consumers, report says

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Scientists continue to make advancements in biotechnology, while private and public entities invest in development of technologies to enhance agriculture and food production. Regulatory obstacles, however, keep most biotechnology advancements from reaching commercialization, resulting in sparse return on investment. That sums up the primary theme in a new report from the Council for Agricultural Science and Technology (CAST).

The report, titled “Regulatory Barriers to the Development of Innovative Agricultural Biotechnology by Small Businesses and Universities,” notes that USDA and private businesses have developed dozens of genetically engineered (GE) crops with benefits including yields, disease resistance, nutritional enhancements, food safety and environmental sustainability. But while many have passed through extensive safety testing, few have reached commercial release or generated returns on investment.

In a scientifically rigorous, risk-based safety assessment, the authors note, the degree of regula­tory scrutiny is commensurate with the degree of identified risk posed by the product in question. “In reality, however, our current regulations are not based on product risk, but on spurious, undocu­mented risks posed by the process of genetic engineering.”

Read full, original post: CAST: Excessive Barriers Stifle Biotech Progress

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