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EPA and USDA regulations hinder citrus greening cures

EPA and USDA regulations hinder citrus greening cures

Scientists may find a silver bullet in the battle against citrus greening disease, but if the "eureka" moment comes, growers may wait several years for EPA and USDA regulatory approval before the new technology becomes available in groves.

From the Ledger:

Scientists around the world continue to search for the silver bullet against the citrus greening disease, but if the "eureka" moment comes, growers may wait several years for regulatory approval before the new technology becomes available in groves.

That's the disappointing news officials from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Agriculture delivered to about 50 growers and scientists Thursday at a day-long seminar on regulatory issues at the Citrus Research and Education Center in Lake Alfred.

The current approval time for technology using genetically modified organisms (GMOs) ranges from two to five years, said John Turner, director of environmental risk analysis programs at the Agriculture Department, who oversees biotechnology regulation.

Moreover, some GMO technologies will require approval from both EPA and USDA.

The delays stem from lawsuits, Turner responded, and USDA officials are trying to get the approval time down to one to 1.5 years.

For more, see: Citrus Greening Cures Could See Delays

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