USDA moves to streamline biotech crop approvals by updating 30-year-old regulations

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USDA’s new regulation updating its plant biotechnology guidelines is being reviewed by [the Office of Management and Budget], suggesting it’s likely to be made public soon, a department official said [February 26].

The department’s existing regulatory framework for handling biotech products….is three decades old and focuses narrowly on preventing bugs, weeds and other unwanted pests from getting into the U.S. agricultural supply.

The biotech industry has pushed for an update to the regulations, arguing they’re outdated and don’t take into account newer gene-editing technologies that don’t involve pests in production.

Kevin Shea, Animal Plant Health Inspection Service administrator, said the regulation aims to….[streamline] how genetically engineered plants are approved.

Related article:  When it comes to sustainability and organic farming, does size matter?

“….[I]t doesn’t make sense for us to spend a lot of time on products we have looked at many times before….So we’re developing regulation that provides multiple off ramps for the regulatory path,” he said.

Read full, original article: USDA’s proposed biotech rule at OMB (Behind Paywall)

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