New rules allow biotech to mitigate climate, disease risk


Expert Pitch

The U.S. Department of Agriculture released a proposed revision which could drastically change regulations for genetically-modified crops.

Matthew R. Willmann is the director of the Plant Transformation Facility at Cornell University and has 25 years of plant science research experience, having studied plant transformation and genome editing to improve crop plants. He says the revision will lower costs, lead to a broader range of genetically-engineered plants, and reduce time for improved plants to reach growers which will allow agriculture to be more reactive in response to climate change and plant diseases.

Bio: https://sips.cals.cornell.edu/research/plant-transformation-facility/staff-directory/

Willmann says:

“The proposed regulatory revision is a smart, safe approach that could lower regulatory costs, allowing for greater product development by smaller companies as well as public and private universities. The reduced costs will also lead to the application of biotechnology to a broader range of crops, not just commodity crops like maize and soybeans.

“The reduced regulatory burden by the USDA may reduce the time it takes for newly improved plants to reach growers. These changes could make U.S. agriculture more reactive and flexible in response to climate change and new and emerging plant disease and insect threats.”

Cornell University has dedicated television and audio studios available for media interviews supporting full HD, ISDN and web-based platforms.

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