JUNE 2018 SEEDWORLD.COM / 67 ernstseed.com sales@ernstseed.com 800-873-3321 Native seeds for: Pollinator Habitat Restoration & Reclamation Sustainable Landscapes Conservation Biomass NATIONAL USDA UNVEILS PROPOSED RULE FOR BIOTECH INGREDIENT LABELING On May 3, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced the final steps in establishing a new food labeling law. This final rule would establish the National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard man- dated by Congress in 2016. The standard will provide a uniform way to offer meaning- ful disclosure for consumers who want more information about their food and avoid a patchwork system of state or private labels that could be confusing for consumers and likely drive up food costs. HOUSE AGRICULTURE COMMITTEE ADVANCES FARM BILL On April 18, the House Agriculture Committee advanced the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018, critical legislation to address the eco- nomic challenges facing the nation’s farmers and ranchers, while making historic invest- ments in opportunities for SNAP recipients. USDA WON’T REGULATE CRISPR U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue issued a state- ment providing clarification on the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s oversight of plants produced through innovative new breeding tech- niques which include genome editing techniques. Under its biotechnology regulations, USDA does not regulate or have any plans to regulate plants that could oth- erwise have been developed REGULATORY ROUNDUP Keeping you informed of legislative and regulatory changes at the state, national and international levels — from lawsuits to approvals to other regulatory issues affecting your business. PAKISTAN ‘CLOSE TO’ OPENING UP TO GM SEED Pakistan may be on the verge of officially opening up to genetically modified seed. Progress on several fronts on reform of seed approval and intellectual property regu- lations may “be operational in 2018, opening Pakistan to the official introduction of modern biotechnology,” according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture bureau in Islamabad. The move would not mean Pakistan farmers growing biotech crops for the first time; the country’s farmers have grown GM cotton for some 15 years on what the bureau terms an “informal” basis, with GM seed accounting for some 95 percent of seedings. through traditional breeding techniques as long as they are not plant pests or developed using plant pests. This includes a set of new techniques that are increasingly being used by plant breeders to produce new plant varieties that are indistinguishable from those developed through traditional breeding methods. INTERNATIONAL EU BANS OUTDOOR USE OF PESTICIDES HARMFUL TO BEES On April 27, Member States’ representatives in a Standing Committee backed a proposal by the European Commission to further restrict the use of imidacloprid, clothianidin and thiamethoxam, for which a sci- entific review concluded that their outdoor use harms bees. All outdoor use of the three substances will be banned and the neonicotinoids in question will only be allowed in permanent greenhouses where no contact with bees is expected. COMMISSION CLEARS BAYER’S ACQUISITION OF MONSANTO The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the acquisi- tion of Monsanto by Bayer. The merger is conditional on the divestiture of an exten- sive remedy package, which addresses the parties’ over- laps in seeds, pesticides and digital agriculture. “We have approved Bayer’s plans to take over Monsanto because the par- ties’ remedies ... meet our competition concerns,” says Commissioner Margrethe Vestager. BT COTTON SEED FIRMS TO SUBMIT SAMPLES TO LABS FOR LICENSE Maharashtra has made it mandatory for Bt cotton seed companies in the state to submit seed samples, which they wish to sell in the market, to government-approved laboratories for getting them tested to obtain sale licenses. According to top officials, seed companies will need to get the DNA and DUS tests done and submit the acknowledgement from the laboratories to the agriculture department for obtaining licenses. The step has been taken to prevent the sale of illegal varieties. SW