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Costa Rica joins countries that allow commercial production of genetically edited cropsqrcode

Apr. 3, 2024

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Apr. 3, 2024

The Government of Costa Rica published modifications to its agricultural biotechnology regulations on November 10, 2023. The updated regulations were published in the Official Gazette ″ La Gaceta ″ as Executive Decree 44244 – MAG. This update would facilitate the commercial use of crops developed using new genetic improvement techniques (such as genome editing) and reduce barriers to other more common applications of modern biotechnology (including genetically modified crops).

According to a report from the United States Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), a genome edited banana variety resistantto yield-reducing fungal diseases sigatoka and fusarium wilt could be the first genome edited product commercialized in Costa Rica later in 2024.

The most relevant changes in the regulation are related to genome editing, which was not addressed in the earlier regulatory framework. Under the new regulation, Costa Rica would treat a wide range of products created with innovative biotechnologies as equivalent to conventional products. 

On the other hand, simplified procedures were published for requests for the use of transgenic events from individual or stacked transformations that have a history of previous use in the country.

Until now, Costa Rica only allowed the production of GM cotton and soybeans for exclusive export purposes (no commercial use within the country), as well as the cultivation of a  pink GM pineapple  (high in antioxidants that protect against cancer) for export to the United States. 

The new modification of the regulations would allow new developments produced with genome editing techniques, both national and foreign, to finally reach the fields and tables of Costa Rica, benefiting the country's farmers and consumers.

Source: USDA FAS


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