Caleb Ragland

Caleb Ragland

OPINION  The American Soybean Association is pleased to see the U.S Department of Agriculture announce a final rule updating and modernizing its biotechnology regulations under the Plant Protection Act. The Sustainable, Ecological, Consistent, Uniform, Responsible, Efficient – or SECURE – rule significantly updates the USDA’s plant-biotechnology regulations for the first time in three decades, according to Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue.

The new process established by the rule is expected to lead to reduced regulatory costs and timeframes for the development of new plant varieties for developers. That will significantly grant soybean growers quicker access to more-affordable bean varieties incorporating a broader array of innovations.

We are pleased with the USDA’s final rule streamlining the regulatory process for reduced-risk biotech crops to come to market. By establishing a common-sense regulatory process to ensure new biotech plants varieties are reviewed quickly with predictable timelines and allowed to go to market if they pose no risk, soybean growers can remain efficient and competitive through that continued access to innovation.

The USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service stated in the announcement of the final rule that it, “provides a clear, predictable and efficient regulatory pathway for innovators, facilitating the development of genetically engineered organisms that are unlikely to pose plant-pest risks.”

The American Soybean Association has advocated for improvements to make the regulatory process transparent, less cumbersome, based in sound science, and in a way that helps farmers do their jobs more efficiently and sustainably.

Caleb Ragland, a soy grower from Magnolia, Kentucky, chairs the Regulatory Committee of the American Soybean Association, which represents U.S. soybean farmers regarding domestic and international policy issues important to the soybean industry. Visit soygrowers.com for more information.