With the demand for food projected to double by 2030, biotechnology companies continue to invest heavily in the development of genetically modified (GM) crops that can thrive in adverse environments. But before GM plants become available for large-scale cultivation, they must pass thorough and lengthy scrutiny by regulatory agencies—often accompanied by courtroom challenges from opponents of GM seeds.
In an article for June 13 Feedstuffs, a weekly agribusiness publication, John Mandler and Rhyddid Watkins survey the current legal and regulatory landscape surrounding the development and introduction of GM crops. They provide an account of the USDA/Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), EPA and FDA regulatory processes which govern GM traits to gauge their environmental impact. Significant litigation, they note, has followed in the aftermath of APHIS's granting of non-regulated status to GM plants, with a number of cases pending in federal courts.
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