Submitted to: Regulation of Agricultural Biotechnology: The United States and Canada
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: April 29, 2011
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: We have demonstrated that genetic engineering can be an important source of high level and durable resistance against Plum pox virus (PPV). We have shown, through a number of field studies, the environmental safety of this genetically engineered plum. Nevertheless, the utilization of this demonstrated effective technology for the practical control of PPV has not occurred outside of the work with 'HoneySweet'. There are a number of reasons for this situation. Clearly, the reticence of researchers to become involved in the regulatory arena is among these. Institutions supporting agricultural research need to find ways to encourage, support, and reward researchers who pursue deregulation efforts. When feasible, industry partners should be sought that have an interest in bringing a potential product through the regulatory process. Regulations should be science-based with clear submission criteria and should seek to minimize the bureaucratic burden of submissions. The long-standing successes of virus control in squash and papaya, and the current work with plum demonstrate the power and the safety of this approach. Institutional support, the commitment of researchers, clear, science-based regulatory frameworks that build upon a developing knowledge base, industry support, and public outreach are components that are now necessary to move this technology forward to improve agricultural production and its sustainability.