Volume 95 Issue 44 | p. 17 | Concentrates
Issue Date: November 6, 2017

Congress urges agencies to update biotech policies

By Glenn Hess, special to C&EN
Department: Government & Policy
Keywords: Biotechnology, Biological chemistry, Regulation, Policy, Agriculture, Business, gene editing, crops

A bipartisan group of 79 lawmakers in the U.S. House of Representatives is urging agricultural biotechnology regulators to work together to promote technologies to increase crop yields and reduce the cost of production. Existing biotech rules and policies are contradictory and “have sent inconsistent signals” to trading partners, many of whom are also trying to formulate a strategy to regulate new technologies, says a letter from the House members to the heads of USDA, FDA, and EPA. “We are concerned that if the Administration does not quickly develop a uniform position on biotechnology in agriculture, including gene editing, we will see an unworkable patchwork of international regulations emerge that will effectively further suppress American innovation,” the lawmakers, led by House Agriculture Committee members Neal Dunn (R-Fla.) and Jimmy Panetta (D-Calif.), write. The Biotechnology Innovation Organization, an industry trade group, says the letter shows there is “strong bipartisan support for managing tough societal challenges with innovative biology-based solutions.” The U.S. has been reviewing its regulatory system for biotech plants and animals for the past year.

 
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ISSN 0009-2347
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