Far-Reaching Deleterious Impacts of Regulations on Research and Environmental Studies of Recombinant DNA-Modified Perennial Biofuel Crops in the United States

BioScience, Vol. 60, No. 9, p. 729, October 2010

14 Pages Posted: 30 Oct 2012

See all articles by Steven H. Strauss

Steven H. Strauss

Oregon State University - Department of Forest Resources

Drew L. Kershen

University of Oklahoma - College of Law

Joe Bouton

Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation

Thomas Redick

Global Environmental Ethics Counsel

Huimin Tan

Carnegie Mellon University - Department of Engineering and Public Policy

Roger A. Sedjo

Resources for the Future

Date Written: October 1, 2010

Abstract

Regulatory restrictions have increased in recent years on organisms produced using recombinant DNA and asexual gene transfer, a process commonly called genetic engineering or genetic modification. Regulatory agencies have raised special concerns and required additional scrutiny for perennial grasses and woody plants of interest for biofuels; these plants have incomplete domestication, invasive capabilities, and the ability to mate with wild or feral relatives. Regulations on these plants require extremely stringent containment through all phases of research and development, regardless of the source of the gene, the novelty of the trait, or the plants' anticipated economic or environmental benefits. We discuss the extent to which these requirements conflict with the realities of practical crop breeding, and prevent meaningful agronomic and environmental studies, thus hampering — and in most cases, precluding — the use of recombinant DNA breeding methods for perennial crop improvement. We propose regulatory reforms to better balance benefit and risk and remove unnecessary barriers to agronomic evaluations and environmental studies.

Keywords: transgene, poplar, switchgrass, genetically engineered organisms, genetically modified organisms

JEL Classification: Q16

Suggested Citation

Strauss, Steven H. and Kershen, Drew L. and Bouton, Joe and Redick, Thomas and Tan, Huimin and Sedjo, Roger A., Far-Reaching Deleterious Impacts of Regulations on Research and Environmental Studies of Recombinant DNA-Modified Perennial Biofuel Crops in the United States (October 1, 2010). BioScience, Vol. 60, No. 9, p. 729, October 2010. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2168928

Steven H. Strauss

Oregon State University - Department of Forest Resources ( email )

Corvallis, OR 97331
United States

Drew L. Kershen (Contact Author)

University of Oklahoma - College of Law ( email )

300 Timberdell Road
Norman, OK 73019
United States
405-325-4784 (Phone)
405-325-0389 (Fax)

Joe Bouton

Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation ( email )

2510 Sam Noble Parkway
Ardmore, OK 73401
United States

Thomas Redick

Global Environmental Ethics Counsel ( email )

65 Arundel Place
Clayton, MO 63105
United States

Huimin Tan

Carnegie Mellon University - Department of Engineering and Public Policy ( email )

Baker Hall 129
5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
United States

Roger A. Sedjo

Resources for the Future ( email )

1616 P Street, NW
Washington, DC 20036
United States

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
13
Abstract Views
357
PlumX Metrics