Issue Date: November 13, 2017
U.S. Agriculture Department pulls proposed biotechnology regulation
USDA is withdrawing a proposed rule to revise its biotechnology regulations, saying it will reevaluate how to modernize the way the federal government regulates genetically engineered crops and other biotech products. The Obama Administration introduced the proposal in January as part of an effort to streamline the USDA, FDA, and EPA approval process for agricultural biotechnology. Last month, a bipartisan group of 79 members of the House of Representatives urged the three agencies to rework the proposal and better account for new and emerging technologies. USDA oversees the imports, interstate movement, and environmental release of genetically engineered organisms to ensure they do not pose a risk of becoming plant pests. The Biotechnology Innovation Organization, an industry trade group, supports the department’s planned course correction. “USDA’s ongoing coordination with other agencies, such as FDA and EPA, will hopefully result in a consistent approach for advances such as gene editing, both domestically and internationally, so the U.S. can continue to be a leader in the regulation of products of agricultural biotechnology,” BIO says.
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