Biotech Updates

Beachy: GM Approval Process Must be Reviewed

July 8, 2011

The system for assessing new GM crops with nutritional and environmental benefits must be improved to reduce the time and expense of gaining approvals and enable smaller players to get a look in, said Dr. Roger Beachy, founding president of Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, during the U.S. House Subcommittee hearing on rural development, research, biotechnology, and foreign agriculture held last week.

He said that he was not talking about compromising the safety procedures by taking shortcuts, but "merely modifying the process such that it took into account learnings from the extensive safety work already conducted on GM crops to avoid duplicating efforts."

Beachy stressed that the current process has caused the delay in the release of GM products developed by universities, and for a decade, no new product has been released.

The next generation of biotech crops would be vital in enabling farmers to meet the increasing need for food and feed while using less resources such as water, energy, and chemicals, he added.

Read the complete statement of Dr. Beachy at