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  • Condensed by Lynda Kiernan-Stone, Unconventional Ag Media

USDA Clears GM Teff Developed by Danforth Center

A review conducted by the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service on a genetically modified variety of teff developed by researchers at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center’s Institute for International Crop Improvement in collaboration with the Ethiopian Institute for Agricultural Research is not subject to biotech regulation under the USDA’s SECURE rule.

A small, gluten-free, nutrient-dense grain that is native to Ethiopia, teff is a staple food for millions, providing up to two-thirds of the dietary protein consumed in that country. Over time, it has gained international popularity due to its many health benefits and versatility, and production has been growing in California, Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, and Oregon.

This new variety has been developed to be semi-dwarf in size to combat lodging, a condition that causes the plant to bend or break due to wind or heavy rain, significantly reducing yields by up to 25 percent and leaving the crop susceptible to disease.

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