05-18-16 ASTA Statement on NAS GE Report…

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ASTA Statement on NAS GE Report

Alexandria, Va.—May 18, 2016—American Seed Trade Association (ASTA) President & CEO Andrew LaVigne made the following statement regarding the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) report, Genetically Engineered Crops: Experience and Prospects:

“We’re pleased the NAS has taken the time to perform a thorough, scientific review of genetically engineered (GE) crops.  Their findings reinforce what we’ve known all along: GE crops are safe. 
“ASTA is thoroughly reviewing the study.  However, we are concerned that the committee did not sufficiently recognize the role that plant breeding’s long history of safety has played in bringing new and improved seed varieties to the marketplace.  The evolution of plant breeding is the foundation of America’s safe, nutritious and diverse food supply.  New plant breeding methods build upon our strong history of innovation, and will help meet the challenges faced by agriculture in an efficient and sustainable manner.

“It is imperative that both public and private plant breeders and seed companies of all sizes have the opportunity to employ new and evolving breeding methods in the future, without being hindered by overly-burdensome regulations.  Continued innovation and the improvement of breeding methods are paramount to the future of agriculture and our quality of life.”

Founded in 1883, the American Seed Trade Association (ASTA) represents over 700 companies involved in seed production, plant breeding and related industries in North America. ASATA is an effective voice of action in all matters concerning the development, marketing and movement of seed, associated products and services throughout the world.   ASTA’s broad membership offers varieties from alfalfa to zucchini and all production types including conventional, organic and biotech. We promote the development of better seed to produce better crops for a better quality of life.