Regulation of Biotechnology for Specialty Crops

  • Kent J. Bradford
  • Julian M. Alston
  • Nicholas Kalaitzandonakes
Part of the Natural Resource Management and Policy book series (NRMP, volume 30)


While crops improved using biotechnology (recombinant DNA methods) have been widely adopted in soybeans, cotton, maize, and canola, only a few varieties of horticultural or specialty crops have been commercialized. Numerous traits developed through biotechnology would be valuable for specialty crops. However, commericalization of these traits is limited by the diversity of species involved, multiple niche markets, small production windows per cultivar, requirements of processors, distributors and retailers, and access to intellectual property required for developing transgenic varieties. Regulatory requirements for biotech crops, particularly the separate regulation of each transgenic event, are also uniquely burdensome for specialty crops. Targeted assistance with the regulatory process, analogous to the IR-4 program for the registration of agricultural chemicals for minor crops, is recommended as a way to encourage the commercialization of biotech specialty crops. Continuing development of biotech specialty crops in China, India, and other countries may eventually open international markets to these products.

Key words

Biotechnology specialty crops vegetables fruits ornamental plants regulation 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kent J. Bradford
    • 1
  • Julian M. Alston
    • 1
  • Nicholas Kalaitzandonakes
    • 2
  1. 1.University of CaliforniaDavis
  2. 2.University of Missouri-ColumbiaColumbia

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