Ceres Inc. has successfully petitioned to have genetic traits for corn deemed non-regulated, meaning those traits will not have to follow the same procedures outlined in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s rules for genetically engineered crops, the company announced Wednesday.
The decision will allow the Thousand Oaks agricultural biotech and its growers to develop and market certain corn traits — such as improved digestibility, drought tolerance and insect resistance — more efficiently and effectively in the U.S.
“We appreciate the USDA’s diligence in reviewing our inquiry,” Ceres’ Chief Executive Richard Hamilton said in a statement. “In this case, the USDA determined that there was no scientific reason to warrant their oversight under current regulations.”
Ceres applied for non-regulated status for these corn traits in Aug. 2013 by submitting a letter of inquiry to the USDA. However, the USDA noted that certain Ceres traits may still be subject to other USDA and other government regulations.
The company has received non-regulated status for traits in some of its other crops, such as sorghum and switchgrass.
Ceres closed up 2 cents, or 9.5 percent, to 26 cents on the Nasdaq.