QHow long does it take on average for a new GMO variety to be approved by the USDA, FDA and EPA? What are the general steps that are part of this process? Thank you.

How long does it take on average for a new GMO variety to be approved by the USDA, FDA and EPA? What are the general steps that are part of this process? Thank you.

AExpert Answer

According to an opinion piece by Washington farmer Mark Wagoner written earlier this year, it can take the U.S. more than three years to grant approval of a new biotech product. 

  • USDA conducts a mandatory review of GM plants to assess whether or not they will impact the environment and will be safe to grow.
  • EPA conducts a mandatory review of GM plants that are insect or herbicide resistant to assess whether or not they will impact the environment. The EPA also regulates the use of all crop protection products that control weeds and provide protection against insects and disease that are used on crops grown in the U.S.
  • FDA conducts a review to assess if GM plants are safe to eat. All GM crops on the market have gone through this process.

 

That’s just agency review and approval process in the United States though. As a company, we start thinking about regulatory requirements early in our product development process. We conduct more than 75 regulatory science studies over a five-to-seven year period in order to answer questions like: What is the sequence of the genetic insertion? Does the trait do what we expected? And if so, at what level? Does a plant with this trait work the way we want and grow like normal? 

 

Researchers also carefully evaluate product safety, verifying that the new GMO product: 

  • Doesn’t introduce any toxins or allergens; 
  • Is nutritionally the same as its non-GE counterpart; and
  • Has no effect on non-target organisms like beneficial insects, birds and other wildlife 

 

It’s important to note that any new product concept not meeting these standards are discarded and are not pursued for commercialization.

 

All of these studies are conducted following international guidelines for good laboratory practices and scientific methods, and then the results are peer-reviewed by the multiple authorities in the more than 70 countries where GMOs are grown or imported. 

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While there might be some institutions with the capability to make these transgenic watermelon and coconut plants for you, that does not mean that you would be able to actually plant them out. First, the institution would need to have a Biological Use Authorization to work with recombinant DNA to make the vectors to transfer the genes. Then they would need to be able to do the tissue culture required to transfer the genes and regenerate whole plants again, which can sometimes be difficult.... Read More
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The short answer is no, neither MSG or animal extraction are from GMOs, nor is MSG, animal extraction, or animal products/animal DNA in GMOs.   When people refer to Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs), they are referring to precision plant breeding using genetic engineering (also called GE). It allows plant breeders to take a desirable trait (like resistance to drought, insects, weeds, and disease) from one plant or organism and transfer it to the plant... Read More
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Posted on June 28, 2017
No. MSG, monosodium glutamate, is a chemical additive, certainly not a GMO.
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