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Executive order modernizes regulations for ag biotechnology


President Donald Trump is working to streamline the regulatory maze for agricultural biotechnology — he signed an executive order directing federal agencies to streamline the agricultural biotechnology regulatory processes.

Modernizing the Regulatory Framework for Agricultural Biotechnology Products Executive Order will help eliminate delays, reduce developer costs, and provide greater certainty about the review process for farmers. Biotechnology has been used in farming for decades to produce safer, more sustainable crops. Streamlining the regulatory process will help create an environment that fosters greater investment in these innovative crops. The current regulatory process is a regulatory maze that can take over a decade to navigate, delaying innovations that can bring safe resilient crops to the market. An average of five petitions were processed by USDA each year from 1993 through 2017.

The Executive Order states, “Recent advances in biotechnology have the potential to revolutionize agriculture and thereby enhance rural prosperity and improve the quality of American lives. Biotechnology can help the Nation meet its food production needs, raise the productivity of the American farmer, improve crop and animal characteristics, increase the nutritional value of crop and animal products, and enhance food safety.  In order to realize these potential benefits, however, the United States must employ a science-based regulatory system that evaluates products based on human health and safety and potential benefits and risks to the environment.” 

 U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue looks forward to the the new changes for the regulatory framework.  “Our current regulatory framework has impeded innovation instead of facilitating it. With this Executive Order, President Trump is once again putting America first and setting us on a course to modernize our regulatory framework so that it works for our farmers, ranchers, and consumers. We need all the tools in the toolbox 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. Science-based advances in biotechnology have great promise to enhance rural prosperity and improve the quality of life across America’s heartland and around the globe,” Perdue said.
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