Dozens of consumer and food groups and businesses filed recommendations with the U.S. Department of Agriculture seeking tighter regulation of genetically engineered crops and calling the current system a “failure.”
The USDA has said it is considering changes to the way it regulates biotech crops and set a public comment period that expired June 22.
In the recommendations filed, the groups said the government needs to do more to adequately protect the “environment, economy, farmers, consumers and public health.”
The groups signing on to the recommendations include the National Family Farm Coalition, the Organic Consumers Association, Clif Bar & Co., Nature’s Path and 34 other organizations.
The groups called on the agency to expand its work to assess the safety of GMO crops for human and animal consumption and closely monitor genetically engineered crop production systems for weed resistance problems or harm to ecosystems. They also said the agency needs to work harder to prevent contamination of non-GMO crops by GMO crops.
Biotech crop supporters say there is a wealth of evidence that the GMO crops on the market are safe and already well regulated.
Ed Curlett, a spokesman for APHIS, said the agency’s next step would be to review the comments submitted.
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