USDA rejects biotech blue chrysanthemum request

Chrystanthemums genetically engineered to produce blue flowers cannot be freely imported into the U.S. and traded as non-regulated crops under a new USDA decision.

Most requests for non-regulated status for genetically-altered crops in recent years have met with approval from the agency’s Animal Plant Health Inspection Service, so the recent rejection of Suntory Flowers Limited’s application to import cut flowers is rare.

Unlike many of the crops determined not to fall under regulations for genetic engineering, the blue chrysanthemums were “clearly regulated articles as they were engineered using plant pest sequences,” said Rick Coker, public affairs specialist with APHIS.

Crops that are gene-edited to remove or alter genes without inserting foreign DNA from plant pests don’t come under USDA’s biotech authority.

Read more at Capital Press (Mateusz Perkowski)

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