USDA Mulls Coexistence with GM Crops


The agency is seeking public comments on how to communicate "coexistence" strategies.

Because of concerns relating to cross-pollination of genetically modified and non-genetically modified crops, the USDA continues to mull how it can most effectively communicate and collaborate on efforts relating to “coexistence,” the term being used for concurrent cultivation of conventional, organic, and genetically modified crops. In November, the USDA announced a request for comments on the matter, and the deadline for these comments is now extended to March 4, 2014.

USDA’s strategies for implementing coexistence flow through its Advisory Committee on Biotechnology and 21st Century Agriculture (AC21). The group is making recommendations for, among many other necessities, gathering of data on unintended GMO presence in seed supplies and the development of a data inventory to quantify economic losses incurred by farmers.

At this point in time, USDA is seeking comments specifically on how the agency can strengthen its coexistence communication and collaboration efforts.

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