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Crop Biotech Update

International Plant Biotech Experts Weigh in on New Breeding Technology Regulations

May 13, 2020

A poll involving international plant biotechnology experts was conducted to determine what approach different countries should agree on in order to maximize the full potential of current and future new breeding technologies and its products. A key finding states that product-based models or dual-product/process systems are viewed as potential appropriate frameworks to regulate genome editing products.

Based on the study, adopting genome editing technology depends on a definite and navigable regulatory framework that results in consistent decisions. Thus, the opinions of 113 plant biotechnology experts were gathered, and the findings state that the product of new breeding technologies makes an impact on how farmers and consumers decide how risky or valuable the technology is. Other results reveal that there is an emerging consensus that the regulatory processes need to innovate to address the challenges resulting from new technical opportunities.

When comparing product-based regulatory model and process system model, experts say that the former's safety assessment is the only scientifically valid approach while the latter may be unable to keep pace with new and emerging technologies. Their recommendation is to reconcile any resulting consensus with the divergent views held based on the originating country, as the study found that expertise and region influenced trade worldviews but not agricultural innovation but the worldviews did not influence how new breeding techniques should be regulated. The experts also emphasized that the key to maximizing genome editing potential is through regulatory transparency and open dialogue.

Read the full paper in Biotechnology Reports.

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