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Crop Biotech Update

USDA to Speed Up GM Crop Approval Process

March 2, 2012

U.S. Department of Agriculture deputy administrator, Michael Gregoire, announced in an interview that they aim to lessen the time needed to approve biotech crops. The process of biotech crop approval only took six months in 1990s but have lengthened due to increased public interest and the introduction of national organic food standards.

According to American Soybean Association CEO, Steve Censky, U.S. farmers worry that they may be disadvantaged by other countries like Brazil, which have faster time of approval. The changes will be implemented after it is published in the Federal Register which is expected to happen this month.

"We can improve the quality of decisions by providing for this earlier public input in the process," Gregoire said. "We are not sacrificing quality at all." Congress is helping to speed crop reviews by increasing APHIS's budget for biotech regulation to a record $18 million this year, from $13 million in 2011," Gregoire added.

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