Regulating High Oleic Soybean OIl

Regulating High Oleic Soybean OIl


-Hello. Today we have with us Dr. Marshall Martin, the director of agriculture research to talk to us about the
regulatory processes involved in a new soybean that was developed as an oil
alternative. Welcome Dr. Martin. Can you tell us a little bit about why this
soybean was developed? -As we know it’s important in a balanced diet for for
human consumption that we need some type of cooking oil and we also want to be
sure these oils we use from vegetable sources are healthy for us and this one
was developed primarily to thinking about cardiovascular disease and one
that has a composition of oils and fats in it that’s more healthy for our heart. -Great. We know that high oleic soybean is a transgenic plant or a GMO. To ensure
safety are there safeguards are policies in place that will protect consumers? -Yes, there are. We have had in the United States now for more than two decades a
regulatory process of three agencies of the US government – the Food and Drug
Administration provides oversight on the food safety, the USDA part of Agriculture
has a division called the Animal Plant Health Inspection Service that looks at
implications for growing the crop in the field, and finally we have the
Environmental Protection Agency. It also looks at any issue related to pesticide
use for example this particular soybean is in a Roundup Ready background
material so it had to be regulated relative to the control of weeds when we grow this crop. -Dr. Martin is this process required? -We actually have under
our coordinated framework in the United States for the regulation by these
government agencies, a voluntary process, but every company over the last several
decades is brought to the market a crop or a product that involves some type of
transgenic procedure has sought the approval of the government agencies. That
gives them the assurance they can when they go to market
that they follow all of the highest standards of regulation because we do
live in a society where we are concerned about you know lawsuits, and just like
you like to see the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval it gives you some
confidence in the product that it’s been properly has had proper oversight. -So how maybe does it compare in terms of regulation related to some other oils
that that we might that we might regularly consume like canola or
something like that? -Well canola oil is also can be a GMO
crop most of it is grown in Canada and it is also a very high quality oil and
often used in human consumption in foods. We also have olive oil which is a very high
quality oil primarily produced in places like like Spain or other countries, and
we have sunflower oil and safflower oil and corn oil so all of these are our
oils we’ve been using for a long time. Not all of them, however, have gone
through this transgenic process that we’re talking about for this new soybean. -So general generally they’re regarded as safe. -That’s right, but still they have to
go through the regulatory process because of the way they have been
genetically developed. Great so speaking of other countries there have been
concerns with other GMO related products internationally. So with this
new soybean and this high oleic soybean oil require approval from other nations
before it’s exported? -Yes. Other countries have their own governmental regulatory
agencies that are similar to the ones in the United States but they want to do
their own evaluation within their own countries. There are two companies that
have developed this type of soybean – one is DuPont Pioneer and their product
is called Plenish and it’s almost completing the regulatory approval
process in other countries. I think they have approval in all major importing
countries with the exception of the European Union. Monsanto is the other
company and their product is called Vistive Gold. They have approval in some,
but not all, countries at this point in time. And so we do not want to put in the
marketplace these products prior to being approved and other key
importing countries. -So as a consumer if I’m looking at a product is is it
required to be labeled that it’s high oleic oil or what’s,what’s the labeling
process? -They’re probably two primary reasons we put label on food containers.
One is from a nutritional point of view in terms of the salt content, or perhaps
how many calories, or information is helpful to us as the consumer to to
purchase food that meets our our dietary requirements. The second reason given the
concerns that some people have about the transgenic process or the GMO type
products is the Congress passed about two years ago a law saying there should
be some type of label information about how these foods are produced. The US department of Agriculture is now going through the process of determining how to best do that and they’ll be making a pronouncement in in the near future. It
could be actual information on the container or on the bottle. It could be a
barcode that you could scan with your smartphone and get the information, or it
might direct you to a website to get more detail. -Great so consumers will have
access to information. -They will -Great. Thank you so much today for sharing your
expertise related to the reg ulatory process. -You’re quite welcome [music]