Picture this: You are a large seed and fertilizer company who has been trying to get a glyphosate resistant grass approved for general use for years. The only problem is, genetically modified crops have to go through a regulatory process which is quite slow, and at every corner somebody is just waiting to file a lawsuit. Oh, and also your test plot escapes the assigned area and ends up contaminating the irrigation ditches of nearby farms. Minor issues. You feel like you have been doused in honey; your prize crop is pretty sweet but moving slow and getting stuck on everything. How frustrating!
Until now, that is. Scotts Miracle Gro demonstrated late last week that it is easy to simply side-step the big vat of honey. All you have to do is explain to the USDA that you used nothing in your engineering process that could be considered a “plant pest” and that your glyphosate resistant plant cannot be considered a noxious weed because the conventional form of the plant is not a noxious weed. Voila, no regulation. Easy as pie and quick as a whip, congratulations, you are in business.
Read “Wait, Did the USDA Just Deregulate All New GMO Crops?” By Tom Philpott, explaining this stunning new concept.
Also, read “Going rogue: USDA may have just opened the GMO Floodgates” By Tom Laskawy.
Also Also, here is the announcement straight from the horse’s mouth: APHIS Kentucky Bluegrass Press Release.