Toward product-based regulation of crops

F. Gould, R. M. Amasino, D. Brossard, C. R. Buell, R. A. Dixon, J. B. Falck-Zepeda, M. A. Gallo, K. E. Giller, L. L. Glenna, T. Griffin, D. Magraw, C. Mallory-Smith, K. V. Pixley, E. P. Ransom, D. M. Stelly and C. N. Stewart,  Science,  377:1051-1053. 2022.

Current process-based approaches to regulation are no longer fit for purpose Much effort has been expended globally over the past four decades to craft and update country-specific and multinational safety regulations that can be applied to crops developed by genetic engineering processes, while exempting conventionally bred crops. This differentiation made some sense in the 1980s, but in light of technological advances, it is no longer scientifically defensible. In the coming decades, innovations in genetic engineering and modern ?conventional? processes of crop development will enable use of these approaches to alter more crops and more traits. Future governance of new plant varieties and foods, regardless of the processes and techniques used to develop them, will require new, scientifically sound assessment methodologies, developed in a manner acceptable to society. Here, we provide a rationale for one governance approach that moves away from current process-based regulation and uses newly developed molecular techniques that enable detailed characterization of the new crops and foods themselves.

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