Nina Fedoroff: USDA, FDA proposals intended to streamline biotech crop regulations don’t offer needed relief

| | June 20, 2017
article FC BA B x
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

[Editor’s note: Nina Fedoroff is an American molecular biologist. She was awarded the National Medal of Science in 2007 and served as the President of the American Association for the Advancement of Science from 2011-2012.]

USDA and FDA proposals to regulate genetically engineered (GE) plants and animals following the recent update of the regulatory framework are on their websites awaiting public comment by 19 June 2017.

[I]s this regulatory relief?

Screen Shot at PM
Nina Fedoroff

In place since 1986, the Coordinated Framework for the Regulation of Biotechnology specified that organisms modified by modern biotechnology methods should be regulated based on their characteristics, not on the method by which they were modified.

But in practice, ONLY organisms modified by biotechnology methods have been regulated under the Framework. We have now had 30 years of field experience with GE organisms, primarily in agriculture.

There is no evidence that using biotech methods to modify organisms is hazardous.

But instead of easing the regulatory burden by simply complying with the original framework’s dictate to regulate GE organisms based on their characteristics … the USDA stands the framework on its head by creating a new category of regulated organism modified by “genetic engineering.”

What should the Trump administration do to unsnarl this mess?  It should instruct APHIS [the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service] to set aside its current proposal and, with input from the scientific community, to compose a list of traits that are problematic.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: Opinion: Think this is biotech regulatory relief? Not yet.

Outbreak
Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
Talking Biotech
Genetics Unzipped
sperm swim

Video: Sperm are ‘spinners not swimmers’—because they are lopsided

Research by fertility scientists in the UK and Mexico challenges the accepted view of how sperm “swim”, suggesting that it ...
mag insects image superjumbo v

Disaster interrupted: Which farming system better preserves insect populations: Organic or conventional?

A three-year run of fragmentary Armageddon-like studies had primed the journalism pumps and settled the media framing about the future ...
dead bee desolate city

Are we facing an ‘Insect Apocalypse’ caused by ‘intensive, industrial’ farming and agricultural chemicals? The media say yes; Science says ‘no’

The media call it the “Insect Apocalypse”. In the past three years, the phrase has become an accepted truth of ...
breastfeeding bed x facebook x

Infographic: We know breastfeeding helps children. Now we know it helps mothers too

When a woman becomes pregnant, her risk of type 2 diabetes increases for the rest of her life, perhaps because ...
biotechnology worker x

Can GMOs rescue threatened plants and crops?

Some scientists and ecologists argue that humans are in the midst of an "extinction crisis" — the sixth wave of ...
food globe x

Are GMOs necessary to feed the world?

Experts estimate that agricultural production needs to roughly double in the coming decades. How can that be achieved? ...
eating gmo corn on the cob x

Are GMOs safe?

In 2015, 15 scientists and activists issued a statement, "No Scientific consensus on GMO safety," in the journal Environmental Sciences ...
Screen Shot at PM

Charles Benbrook: Agricultural economist and consultant for the organic industry and anti-biotechnology advocacy groups

Independent scientists rip Benbrook's co-authored commentary in New England Journal calling for reassessment of dangers of all GMO crops and herbicides ...
Screen Shot at PM

ETC Group: ‘Extreme’ biotechnology critic campaigns against synthetic biology and other forms of ‘extreme genetic engineering’

The ETC Group is an international environmental non-governmental organization (NGO) based in Canada whose stated purpose is to monitor "the impact of emerging technologies and ...
Share via
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend