The U.S. Department of Agriculture posted a final rule May 14 on biotech regulations that would allow the floral industry to innovate more precisely, efficiently and at a reduced cost.
“The regulatory approach embraced by USDA is commensurate with the low risk of these techniques — it’s actually lower risk than conventional breeding, which isn’t regulated at all,” said Joe Bischoff, Ph.D., the Society of American Florists’ senior lobbyist. “Improved traits through new breeding innovations will allow our industry breeders to meet sustainability goals by reducing inputs like water, fertilizer and pesticides all while expanding the aesthetic horizons for our customers without creating or expanding the regulatory burden.”
Last summer, SAF submitted comments to the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) detailing the industry’s support for the updated regulations.
“Crop innovation holds great promise for the future of floriculture, and farmers recognize how these advancements not only improve farm profitability but also hold benefits for the entire supply chain and its customers,” wrote SAF in the letter. “We believe advances in plant breeding technology will allow growers to supply high quality ornamental crops desired by domestic and global customers.”
Mary Westbrook is the editor in chief of Floral Management magazine.