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Gene-Edited Crops Ripe For Renewed Regulatory Focus

Law360, New York (January 29, 2018, 12:38 PM EST) -- Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Agriculture released a report on agriculture and rural prosperity highlighting innovations in agricultural biotechnology as a driver of the “fourth industrial revolution.”[1] The USDA report indicates that in 2016, genetically engineered (GE) crops accounted for over 170 million acres of farmland across the U.S., propelled by advancements in genome editing and genomic selection that have produced favorable crop traits ranging from enhanced nutritional value to drought and disease resistance.

To foment further innovation in agricultural biotechnology and reduce regulatory burden on industry, the federal regulatory framework[2] — and USDA requirements in particular — should be updated, but only...

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