Independent Expert

Professor Drew Kershen

Earl Sneed Centennial Professor of Law (Emeritus), University of Oklahoma, College of Law

Professor Drew Kershen teaches courses on agricultural law, legal history, professional responsibility, and water rights at the University of Oklahoma, College of Law. In 1973, he was named a fellow in law and humanities at Harvard University. Kershen is coauthor of Farm Products Financing and Filing Service, written in 1990 with J. Thomas Hardin. Kershen is a member of the Oklahoma Water Law Advisory Commission and the Order of the Coif; he is a past member of the Board of Directors and past president of the American Agricultural Law Association.

From this Expert

Posted On: Thursday, 10/27/2016 2:31 pm
A: As I have stated in this previous answer, GE-crops and non-GE crops are not inherently different in terms of risk. Hence, if GE-crops were not regulated (just as non-GE crops are basically not regulated), the risks would be the same as the risks of not regulating non-GE crops.   What have been the risks of not regulating non-GE crops?   Scientific plant breeding goes back to the early 1900s with the expanding knowledge of biology and genetics, particularly Medelian genetics. Crop... Continue Reading
Posted On: Thursday, 10/27/2016 2:29 pm
A: Subpart A: Are GMOs inherently more risky than nonGMOs?   No – GMOs are not inherently more risky that non-GMOs, The answer “No” is unequivocal. To support my answer, I provide brief quotations:   “Crops modified by molecular and cellular methods should pose risks no different from those modified by classical genetic methods for similar traits. As the molecular methods are more specific, users of these methods will be more certain about the traits they... Continue Reading
Posted On: Tuesday, 9/06/2016 10:34 pm
A: What are the U.S. government policies regarding GMO foods?   The U.S. government sets forth its basic policies regarding GMO foods in a Coordinated Framework for Regulation of Biotechnology (issued 1986, updated 1992, and proposed update 2016). The Coordinated Framework -- originally, as updated, and as proposed for update – consistently adopted two major policies:   1. Existing statutes give regulatory agencies adequate authority and administrative discretion to handle... Continue Reading
Posted On: Tuesday, 4/19/2016 1:05 pm
A: Several varieties of law suits likely respond to the questions.   Farmers suing other farmers claiming damages due to cross-pollination. Although cross-pollination between crops in neighbor fields is a biological fact, to my knowledge, there is not a single law suit in the world where one farmer has sued another farmer claiming damages due to cross-pollination between a GM crop and a Non-GM crop.   Australian courts have dealt with a fact pattern that resembles a cross-... Continue Reading
Posted On: Friday, 11/06/2015 10:24 am
A: Competitors could change just a “few neutral molecules” in a gene and apply to get a patent on that changed gene (or seed). But whether the competitor would be successful is very doubtful, in my opinion, in light of the fact that the changes involve a “few neutral molecules.”   In order to gain a patent, under the general (utility) patent laws of the United States, the person applying for the patent must satisfy four statutory requirements: new, useful, non-... Continue Reading


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