Check out page 729+ – article by Strauss et al on the implications of regulations on biofuel crops/development (grasses and woody plants) in US entitled “Far reaching Deleterious Impacts of Regulations on Research & Environmental Studies of Recombinant DNA-modeified Perennial Biofuel Crops in the US”
October 2010, Volume 60 No. 9
“…the current legal and regulatory situation places severe constraints on both the ability to develop GE crops at all, and then on the performance of adequate environmental studies to inform regulatory and other social decisions about their use…” (p. 738).
Strauss etal outline some ways to address the current constraints/problems:
1. focus regulatory requirements on defined risks.
2. use scientific criteria for design of categories for a low-level presence (LLP) system
3. create an early stage LLP management system
4. clarify the role of NEPA and the CBD
According to Strauss etal, “…the regulatory thicket is deep and thorny…” Resolving issues will require reworking of laws (in US and internationally) or “…a fundamental court precedent that stops the penalization of the GE process” and “enshrining into law the ‘product not process’ principle” (p. 739).
“Solving these problems will require new ways of thinking and strong scientific and political leadership to move us toward a regulatory system that enables, rather than arbitrarily blocks, the use of GE as a tool to accelerate and diversify the breeding of … biofuelcrops.” (p.739).
An article from Physorg.com outlines the report by Strauss and colleagues http://www.physorg.com/news205157589.html
Article excerpt: “The current environment poses enormous legal risks that can and have cost some companies millions of dollars in civil lawsuits, the scientists said, sometimes for damages that were more of perception and market issues, than of safety or environmental impact.”
Kevin Hursh posted this online today….
Hursh on Agriculture
*March 28, 2010*
*Inserting some science into organic*
It appears that the United States is going to start some testing of organic food to make sure it’s actually organic. Mischa Popoff, a former audit-based inspector based in B.C. has long been pushing for organic testing in both the U.S. and Canada. Now, Popoff is pointing at stories in The New York Times which indicate that the USDA will begin enforcing rules that require the spot testing of organically grown foods for traces of pesticides. According to the news stories, spot testing is expected to begin in September. There have been cases in the U.S. where it has taken years for any action against producers and processors selling conventional product and claiming it as organic. The majority of organic products are imported into North America and the organic verification is only paperwork. Organic certification will always require a paper trail, but the industry also needs some scientific testing and some ability to stop those who are abusing the designation. Otherwise the organic label doesn’t have much credibility. Hopefully, Canada will pay attention to the actions starting south of the border. I’m Kevin Hursh. http://www.hursh.ca/default.asp
Check out Mischa Popoff’s site: http://www.isitorganic.ca/
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