News & AnalysisAGBIOTECH

USDA Decides Against New Regulation of GM Crops

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Science  04 Feb 2011:
Vol. 331, Issue 6017, pp. 523
DOI: 10.1126/science.331.6017.523

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Summary

After nearly 4 years of a court-imposed ban, U.S. farmers will once again be able to plant genetically modified (GM) alfalfa. The high-stakes decision, announced last week by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), is notable because the department had considered establishing strict regulations that would have limited the planting of GM alfalfa near organic farms. Those restrictions would have set a precedent for the regulation of other GM crops. In opting against any restrictions, USDA is leaving it up to the farmers to figure out how organic and biotech agriculture can coexist, although the agency has pledged to help with research.