Proposed 2018 Farm Bill includes amendments aimed at streamlining regulation of genetic engineering

Farm bill National Review
Credit: KRVN

The House Agriculture Committee approved a group of 15 Republican amendments to the panel’s farm bill that would modify a crop insurance restriction while addressing broadband, biotechnology, organic food standards and other issues.

An amendment by Neal Dunn, R-Fla., would create a Biotechnology and Agricultural Trade Program to advocate against foreign trade barriers that restrict the use of genetically-engineered commodities. Another Dunn provision would set up a national science-based education campaign to increase public awareness of the kinds of technology used in food and agricultural production.

USDA would be required under an amendment by Ted Yoho, R-Fla., to report to Congress on plans for improving the regulation of gene-edited products.

[A Rep. Rodney Davis, R-Ill.] amendment would require the National Organic Standards Board to set up a procedure for companies or groups to petition the board for allowing new substances for use in organic food.

The committee was expected to debate two other Republican amendments before taking a final vote on the bill.

Democrats did not plan to offer any amendments and were instead attacking the reforms to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and other provisions in the bill, including the elimination of the Conservation Stewardship Program.

Read full, original post: Farm bill amendments address crop insurance, biotech, broadband

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