b'KEEPING the PACE!WHAT SAYS ASTA ON THE U.S. BIOTECH REVISION? BY: MARCEL BRUINSEUROPEAN SEED (ES): WHY WAS WHY IT MATTERS IT NECESSARY TO MODERNIZE THE Products ofCURRENT REGULATIONS?biotechnology in theBERNICE SLUTSKY (BS):Its been 30 years since the U.S. are regulatedUnited States Department of Agriculture (USDA) by three differentlast revised its biotechnology regulations. Clearly federal agencies:theres been a lot of innovation over the past three USDA, EPA anddecades, especially with the emergence of newer, FDA. The originalprecise breeding methods like gene editing revo-regulatory frameworklutionizing plant breeding as we know it. In order stems from 1986 andto support continued innovation, its critical that is currently underregulations keep pace with the latest scientific revision. What doesadvancements. USDA has gained extensive expe-the American Seedrience in reviewing genetically engineered plants Trade Associationover the years, and the regulatory revisions should (ASTA) have toreflect that experience. say about the work in progress?ES: FOR THE SEED SECTOR, WHICH European Seed ARE THE KEY ISSUES AND CHALLENGESspoke with BerniceYOURE FACING?Slutsky, Senior ViceBS:Today, as we face unprecedented global-scale President, Innovationchallenges like climate change, emerging pests of ASTA to findand diseases and rapid population growth, plant out what the seedbreeding continues to evolve and innovate, to help sector thinks of thedeliver solutions. However, lack of consistent, sci-proposed revisions. ence-based policies around products of plant breeding innovation could impede access to these methods and stifle our ability to continue to evolve to meet global challenges. To fully realize the ben-efits of innovations like gene editing, we need aBernice Slutskypolicy framework that is clear and predictable and offers a rational path to commercialization.varieties that are essentially equivalent to varie-Because seed is such a global business, theties developed through more traditional breeding American Seed Trade Association (ASTA) hasmethods and would thus treat these varieties in always looked at this not just from a domestic per- the same way from a policy standpoint. While we spective, but through a global lens. Not only dosupport the exclusion of these specific categories we need the right policies domestically, its criticalof products from an additional pre-market review that we work toward consistent, aligned policies atunder Part 340, we are offering some recommen-the international level.dations relating to the definitions, structure and language of these exemptions. ES: IN JUNE 2019, THE USDAWe look forward to working with USDA as this PROACTIVELY PROPOSED A RULE. WHATprocess moves forward to ensure that plant breed-IS ASTAS TAKE ON THE PROPOSEDers of every size and sector have access to the best RULE? and latest tools available to meet the challenges of BS:We commend USDA for working to update itstomorrow. And we remain committed to continu-long-standing regulatory system for geneticallying the important dialogue with consumers about engineered organisms to ensure it keeps pace withplant breeding and what it means for our future, the latest scientific advancements. Specifically,as we collectively develop new and innovative solu-were pleased that the proposal recognizes thattions to address some of societys most pressing some applications of gene editing result in plantchallenges.14IEUROPEAN SEEDIEUROPEAN-SEED.COM'