Will Trump continue Obama-era ‘streamlining’ of crop and animal biotech and gene-editing regulations?

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[Editor’s note: Hank Campbell is president of the American Council on Science and Health.]

President Donald Trump spent a great deal of his early days in the White House rolling back decisions made by his predecessor. … But there is one science policy initiative Trump has not touched so far — and shouldn’t.

That beneficial policy relates to modernizing how genetic alteration of organisms is approved.

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To try to streamline approval for the 21st century, the FDA has produced new guidance on genetic editing of “animals,” which will include mosquitoes — a few species of which are ecologically useless disease vectors for yellow fever and Zika and can be controlled with biology better than chemicals — and the invasive diamondback moth, which eats crops such as cabbage and broccoli. Transgenic solutions for those are in the works. Meanwhile, USDA proposed new rules for biotech plants, which would mandate approval based on risk to the environment and human health — not just because they have been genetically modified.

That’s a big change. It would mean we would upgrade our approval process for genetically engineered crops to one similar to food additives, which provides a pass for ingredients designated “generally recognized as safe.”

Though these new recommendations were produced during the Obama era, they would be a good foundation in biotech for President Trump’s mandate to make policy decision-making more evidence-based.

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The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: An Obama food-science policy worth keeping

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