‘Proportionate risk’: Outgoing Secretary Perdue proposes USDA streamlining, takeover of animal biotechnology regulations

Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced a significant step in modernizing regulations of agricultural animals modified or produced by genetic engineering.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture will be moving forward with an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) to solicit public input and feedback on a contemplated regulatory framework that would modernize our system into a scientifically sound, risk-based, and predictable process that facilitates the development and use of these technologies for U.S. farmers and ranchers under USDA’s authorities. This initiative follows President Donald Trump’s Executive Order on agricultural biotechnology that called upon federal agencies to make regulatory improvements to rectify some of the long-standing barriers to innovation for U.S. agriculture.

“Our livestock producers need all the tools in the toolbox to help protect against animal diseases and continue to meet the challenge of feeding everyone now and into the future. If we do not put these safe biotechnology advances to work here at home, our competitors in other nations will,” said Secretary Perdue.

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This ANPR will transition portions of FDA’s pre-existing animal biotechnology regulatory oversight to USDA. USDA will consult with FDA to ensure our reviews benefit from FDA’s expertise, while providing developers with a one-stop-shop for their products at USDA. USDA looks forward to FDA experts participating in the development of our review process.

Through this ANPR, USDA is proposing to establish a flexible, forward-looking, risk-proportionate and science-based regulatory framework.

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