AC21 releases Enhancing Coexistence report

USDA’s Advisory Committee on Biotechnology and 21st Century Agriculture (AC21), made up of stakeholders representing the diversity of American agriculture, has released its report to the Secretary of Agriculture on Enhancing Coexistence. In her comments in the document, Laura Batcha (OTA’s Executive Vice President and a representative of the organic sector), wrote, “The final report—while including valuable recommendations in the areas of stewardship, research and seed quality—failed to embrace actionable policy recommendations to guarantee farmer choice and underlying consumer preferences in food and farming. In consenting to the report, I urge that the dialog begun at AC21 continues within the committee, USDA and with the public in order to make real progress toward our goal.”  She added, “Failure to contain GMOs takes away choice from consumers and farmers…Incentives for containment and penalties for failure of containment, mandatory stewardship practices, a revamped framework that regulates containment at the time of commercialization specific to the crop and trait(s) will be necessary.”

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