Former ASA President Steve Wellman of Syracuse, Neb., ASA Treasurer Richard Wilkins of Greenwood, Del. and ASA staff took part in a meeting of the U.S. Biotech Crops Alliance and follow-up meetings with USDA last week in Washington to discuss ways to improve the timeliness of deregulation decisions both domestically and internationally.
The USBCA meeting gave ASA representatives and other members of the Alliance the chance to lay out the tasks going forward for the Domestic and International work groups of the Alliance.
During their meeting with USDA, ASA and partner groups expressed appreciation for the department’s interest and willingness to engage in discussions on ways to try to speed biotech reviews so that the Department can meet its goal of 13-15 months for deregulation decisions. This meeting was a follow-up to the meeting ASA and others held with USDA on Nov. 4 to express concern about how Departmental delays in completing deregulation decisions was negatively affecting U.S. growers and placing them at a disadvantage relative to our competitors in Brazil and Argentina. At this meeting ASA and partner groups made a number of suggestions on steps that USDA could implement to better meet its timeline goals. USDA officials thanked the group for the suggestions and reiterated their commitment to reducing delays in 2014 and fully meeting the timeline goals in 2015.