EPA: Gene-edited crops and other ‘green’ pesticide alternatives on the way

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Credit: Fruit Bouquets
Credit: Fruit Bouquets

EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler is optimistic that new and greener alternatives are on the way to help farmers to protect their pests. During an Agri-Pulse Open Mic interview, Wheeler didn’t offer specifics on new products or a timeline.

But he said, “there’s a lot of different new pesticides coming on line that we’re being asked to review and register. The science is really incredible here.”

He said EPA is working to streamline the regulatory process to ensure products can get to the market more quickly, including gene-edited crops that contain their own pesticidal properties, traits known as “plant-incorporated protectants,” or PIPs. EPA in September proposed new regulations to accelerate regulatory reviews for PIPs.

Related article:  USDA moves ahead with ‘sweeping reforms’ to biotech animal regulations
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Wheeler said senior management personnel at EPA are now being evaluated on how well they have implemented improvements to regulatory and decision-making processes.

Listen to the interview here. He also discusses the agency’s recent dicamba decision as well as the PFAS issue.

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