Relaxed gene-edited crop rules will give farmers more chemical-free pest control tools, EPA says

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Developers of genetically engineered crops would have an easier time getting their products onto the US market under a proposed rule issued by the US Environmental Protection Agency on Sept. 1.

The rule applies to certain plant-produced natural products that act as pesticides and the genetic material that allows plants to make the substances. These substances, called plant-incorporated protectants (PIPs), have long been exempt from regulation under the federal pesticide law and the law that regulates pesticide residues on food, if they were created by conventional breeding. The EPA’s proposal would extend that exemption to include PIPs created with biotechnology.

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The EPA claims that exempting PIPs created with newer technologies, such as gene editing, would reduce costs for developers and lead to more pest control options for farmers.

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