New sunscreen ingredients would get faster approval from FDA under S. 2141, a bill the Senate passed last week. The measure is expected to sail through the House of Representatives, where lawmakers passed companion legislation (H.R. 4250) in July.
Corn and soybean seeds genetically modified by Dow AgroSciences to resist the herbicide 2,4-D got approval from USDA last week that allows them to be planted. EPA still needs to approve the use of a new 2,4,-D formulation on these crops before they can hit the market.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission gains members Stephen Burns and Jeffrey Baran after the Senate confirmed them last week. Burns will serve a five-year term ending in June 2019, and Baran will complete the term vacated by William D. Magwood IV, which ends in June 2015.
Manufacturing research challenges would be tackled through a bill (H.R. 2996) passed by the House last week. Under the bill, NIST would oversee creation of research hubs nationwide to promote partnerships among industry, government, and academia. The measure funds the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation that President Barack Obama proposed in 2012.
Freight rail service could be improved through a bill approved by the Senate Commerce, Science & Transportation Committee last week. Backed by the chemical industry, the legislation would reform the federal Surface Transportation Board. The railroad industry opposes the bill (S. 2777), saying it would lead to “restrictive regulations.”