The U.S. Department of Agriculture has started a new process that is designed to speed up the safety review process for genetically modified crops in the United States. USDA is initiating the new process by seeking comments on nine new GM crops.

USDA’s new process includes a 60-day comment period, which is open to the public. Comments regarding potential environmental and economic issues related to the requests of the new products will be accepted on the site.

The new process aims to approve biotech crops in 13 to 16 months instead of the typical 3 years. Part of USDA’s new strategy involves seeking public comments early on in the review process so that concerns and issues can be raised early and addressed sooner than under the old process.

The comment period is now open for four crops from Monsanto, a soybean from BASF and a canola from DuPont. Monsanto’s crops are for a glyphosate-tolerant canola, high-yielding soy, dicamba-tolerant soy and easier breeding corn. BASF’s soybean is designed to tolerate imidazolinone. DuPont’s canola is glyphosate tolerant.

Dow Chemical also has a soybean up for review that tolerates three herbicides, including 2,4-D. In addition, other Dow products up for comment include an Organagan Specialty Fruits apple modified to reduce browning. Bayer AG and Genective SA have a glyphosate-tolerant corn up for comment as well.

To review the product petitions USDA is considering, click here.