Conference Proceedings on Emerging Challenges for Biotech Specialty Crops, Now Available from the Pew Initiative on Food and Biotechnology, APHIS

Contact: Mona Miller, 202.552.2135

Washington, D.C. - 03/27/2007 - Biotech specialty crops—fruits and vegetables, tree nuts and nursery crops—face unique regulatory challenges, but there are opportunities to improve the regulatory system to help support this important sector of the U.S. agricultural economy, according to participants at a recent workshop, co-sponsored by the Pew Initiative on Food and Biotechnology and the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS). In January 2007, the Pew Initiative and APHIS co-sponsored a two-day roundtable discussion to illuminate the challenges biotech specialty crops encounter with the regulatory system. Proceedings from that discussion, Emerging Challenges for Biotech Specialty Crops, are now available on the Pew Initiative’s website.

Highlights include:

  • Specialty crops form a vital sector of the U.S. economy, yet the development of biotech varieties with traits that could benefit farmers, consumers and the environment face particular regulatory challenges.  
  • Participants noted a number of options that could ease the regulatory burden including the development of tiered risk assessments; regulation revisions to increase transparency and predictability and to reduce the time and resources necessary for regulatory reviews; and the development of data and information modules for standardized use with product applications.

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