The Council for Agricultural Science and Technology (CAST)
invites you to attend a presentation and discussion cohosted by
The Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) on

Regulatory Barriers to the Development of Innovative Agricultural Biotechnology
by Small Businesses and Universities

This event is free and open to the public. RSVP requested.


Thursday, March 22, 2018 from 3:30 PM to 5:00 PM EDT
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Association of Public & Land-grant Universities 
1307 New York Avenue, N.W., Suite 400
Washington, DC 20005-4722

*Located right beside 1331 H Street NW*

Driving Directions 

Additional Presentations
Friday, March 23

National Coalition for Food and Agricultural Research (NC-FAR) Hill Series

10 am in 328-A Russell Senate Office Building

Lunch Seminar at Noon in 1302 Longworth House Office Building
Chick Fil-A Lunch, Veggie Option (If Desired, Please Request)


Melissa Sly 
Council for Agricultural Science and Technology 

Please click green button below to register for the Thursday presentation at APLU.

Register Now! Additional times/venues have been added on Friday, March 23 at 10 am (328-A Russell Senate Office Building) and Noon Lunch Seminar (1302 Longworth House Office Building) hosted by NC-FAR.
Please click here to register if you are interested in attending a Friday presentation.

Dr. Alan McHughen, CE Biotechnology Specialist and Geneticist from the University of California-Riverside, will present highlights of CAST's Issue Paper on Regulatory Barriers to the Development of Innovative Agricultural Biotechnology by Small Businesses and Universities, followed by a panel discussion.

CAST will release this issue paper, which will be the focal point for the presentation, on March 22, 2018 It will then be available as a free download from the CAST website. (

Since the early 1980s, American taxpayers have invested heavily in public, university, and small business developers of crops and foods improved using biotechnology. Yet the return on this investment, in terms of new, improved genetically engineered (GE) crops, is disappointingly thin. Although the U.S. Department of Agriculture, universities, and small businesses have developed dozens of GE crops—with improved traits ranging from healthier and less allergenic to safer and more environmentally sustainable—and carried many through safety and premarket testing, almost all have been denied commercial release mainly because of U.S. regulatory obstacles that disproportionately penalize public, academic, and smaller private breeding entities. In theory, scientifically sound regulations serve the public good by assuring a reasonable degree of product safety while not unduly stifling innovation. In a scientifically rigorous, risk-based safety assessment, the degree of regulatory scrutiny is commensurate with the degree of identified risk posed by the product in question. In reality, however, our current regulations are not based on product risk, but on spurious, undocumented risks posed by the process of genetic engineering, and they impose scrutiny well beyond that imposed on non-GE products posing similar risk. As well, the unnecessarily onerous and expensive regulations discourage and stifle innovation, especially in small businesses and universities. This report analyses the current U.S. regulatory system for GE crops, compares it with those of major trading partners, and considers various aspects of agricultural biotechnology regulation, including labeling and scientifically sound alternatives to the unnecessarily restrictive current regulatory system to allow the benefits of safe agricultural biotechnology products from small business and universities to accrue to farmers, consumers, and the environment.