American Seed Trade Association is currently working with the USDA on a revision of the biotechnology regulations, known as Part 340. Last week at the Commodity Classic in New Orleans ASTA President and CEO Andy LaVigne addressed the work they are doing to make sure key goals are included in this revision.
“One of the key concerns that we have is USDA in this process is looking at part 340 regulations, which are the coordinated framework on approvals for biotechnology products.” LaVigne said. “We want to make sure that we support what they are trying to do; they’re trying to improve the regulatory efficiency of predictability in the system. [We want to] ensure that the definition on the scope of that stays with the biotechnology processes and doesn’t bring in the breeding processes. That’s probably one area we want to work very closely and are working very closely with the administration on.”
Acceptance abroad is also on the radar, as biotech continues to be a barrier to trade for the industry, as is a better understanding between members of the food industry. It will be a process of working together and communicating, LaVigne says.
This work will be important because, like our phone system or health care programs, biotechnology is continuously evolving and moving forward.
“When you take advantage of that what you can do is then enhance the potential that is already in those seeds and those varieties. So we want to make sure the breeders in this country have access to all the tools in the toolbox, even as we develop new tools. And that hopefully brings new products to the marketplace for America’s farmers and makes them efficient and take advantage of the opportunities before them.
Hear more of what Andy LaVigne had to say about biotechnology here: Andy LaVigne, ASTA