Opinion: USDA ‘should rely upon science and facts’ to update GMO regulations

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[Paul Enríquez is a lawyer and scientist currently doing research in structural and molecular biochemistry at North Carolina State University.]

[T]hree decades of scientific research suggest that present-day GMO controversies are not grounded in scientific fact. For instance, despite frequent rumors about GMO-induced cancers, a scientific consensus has now formed to support the health and environmental safety of genetically modified crops for animal and human consumption.

In its rulemaking process, the USDA should rely upon science and facts. With regard to crops and animals with DNA altered through gene editing, rulemakers ought to distinguish among ways that CRISPR technology may be used to edit genes.

How gene editing is carried out matters, because some methods appear to fall within the disclosure requirements while others do not.

The nuances of ever-evolving biotechnological innovation highlight the complexity of our regulatory system and the need to modernize it. The National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard Act is just one of the latest pieces of that regulatory patchwork to emerge. Rules establishing bioengineered food disclosures should be coherent and science-based. Gene editing that uses no foreign DNA, is more precise than conventional breeding methods, and causes genetic modifications already found in nature should not be subject to onerous disclosure standards.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: Genetically modified food is too advanced for its out-of-date regulations