The Record of Decision released by USDA January 27 deregulates alfalfa without conditions. According to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, the decision is based on the findings supported by science and within the context of the Plant Protection Act there is no plant-pest risk. Vilsack announced steps that USDA intends to take to preserve and protect the purity and availability of non-GE alfalfa seed from germ plasm to commercial use. The Secretary also outlined steps that USDA will take to encourage and inform appropriate stewardship practices for GE alfalfa and to work at continuous improvement to lessen any risk of gene flow. Further, Vilsack announced that he is directing the REE mission area to establish a $1 million Biotechnology Risk Assessment Grant program to take a look at shorter-term risk assessment with reference to GE alfalfa.
Reactions to the decision have been issued by The Organic Farming Research Foundation and Organic Trade Association, as well as The American Soybean Association.