Its first attempt to develop genetically engineered grass ended disastrously for the Scotts Miracle-Gro Company. The grass escaped into the wild from test plots in Oregon in 2003, dooming the chances that the government would approve the product for commercial use.
Yet Scotts is once again developing genetically modified grass that would need less mowing, be a deeper green and be resistant to damage from the popular weedkiller Roundup. But this time the grass will not need federal approval before it can be field-tested and marketed.
Scotts and several other companies are developing genetically modified crops using techniques that either are outside the jurisdiction of the Agriculture Department or use new methods — like “genome editing” — that were not envisioned when the regulations were created.
The department has said, for example, that it has no authority over a new herbicide-resistant canola, a corn that would create less pollution from livestock waste, switch grass tailored for biofuel production, and even an ornamental plant that glows in the dark.
The trend alarms critics of biotech crops, who say genetic modification can have unintended effects, regardless of the process.
“They are using a technical loophole so that what are clearly genetically engineered crops and organisms are escaping regulation,” said Michael Hansen, a senior scientist at Consumers Union. He said the grass “can have all sorts of ecological impact and no one is required to look at it.”
Even some people who say the crops are safe and the regulations overly burdensome have expressed concern that because some crops can be left unregulated, the whole oversight process is confusing and illogical, in some cases doing more harm than good.
The Latest on: Genetically modified crops
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The Latest on: Genetically modified crops
- GMOs: Grossly Misunderstood Organismson December 1, 2019 at 7:41 pm
This is notwithstanding the fact that a 2016 study by America’s National Academy of Sciences concluded that GE crops are just as safe to eat as their non-GE counterparts. Dr Kauser Abdulla Malik, ...
- Christopher Pyne: The two sides of State Parliamenton December 1, 2019 at 6:02 pm
On the one hand, our Parliamentarians came together to get a handle on the out of control nangs problem in our community. On the other, the Legislative Council blocked changes to the Genetically ...
- WHAT COULD POSSIBLY GO WRONG? DARPA Wants Insects To Spread Genetically Modified Viruses, Serve Dual Bioweapon Useson November 26, 2019 at 5:42 am
A US military program dubbed ‘Insect Allies’ could be used as a biological weapon, a group of European scientists warns. The Pentagon’s research arm claims they are intended to defend crops, but doesn ...
- South Australian GM crops ban set to stayon November 26, 2019 at 1:39 am
South Australia's controversial and longstanding ban on genetically-modified crops looks set to stay with the Labor opposition and crossbench MPs to vote down government moves to have it lifted. The ...
- Global Genome Editing Market 2019 Global Trends, Statistics, Size, Share, Regional Analysis By 2025-MRE Reporton November 26, 2019 at 12:32 am
Nov 26, 2019 (Heraldkeepers) -- New York, November 26, 2019: The global genome editing market is rapidly increasing due to the increased government funding for genomics technology, rise in the ...
- Labor and Upper House independents back bid to block State Government plan to allow genetically modified crops in SAon November 25, 2019 at 11:13 pm
South Australia’s controversial ban on growing genetically modified crops will stay in place, as the Opposition and crossbenchers cut down a State Government plan to lift it. The Advertiser can reveal ...
- Seed Industry Is Shrinking Dramatically But It Still Grows Hawaii's…on November 25, 2019 at 6:20 am
But despite major declines in economic activity in Hawaii in recent years, Hawaii’s genetically modified seed industry will be around as long as there’s a demand for corn, industry executives said ...
- New variety of 'golden rice' will soon be grown in Bangladeshon November 22, 2019 at 1:01 pm
Developing it was filled with noble intent, but as with all genetically modified crops, it also has its fair share of critics. Those critics warn that genetic modification is an unnecessary and ...
- Seed Treatment Market to Garner $9.3 Bn, Globally, by 2026 at 8.1% CAGR, Says Allied Market Researchon November 22, 2019 at 1:54 am
Rise in prices of genetically modified crops, cost-effectiveness and efficiency over traditional pesticides are expected to propel the growth of the global seed treatment market PORTLAND, Oregon, Nov.
- Bangladesh could be the first to cultivate golden rice, genetically altered to fight blindnesson November 20, 2019 at 12:29 pm
Soon. That has long been scientists' answer when asked about the approval of golden rice, a genetically modified (GM) crop that could help prevent childhood blindness and deaths in the developing ...
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