President Trump signed an executive order recently directing federal agencies to ease rules for approving genetically modified crops and other agricultural biotechnology.
The order noted the importance of biotechnology on the nation’s food supply and agricultural needs and supports a long-time goal of Trump’s support of loosening restrictions on the use of genetically-modified crops and animal products. The order points to the industry as a means of meeting food production needs, improving crop characteristics, increasing the nutritional value of crops and enhancing food safety. In order to meet those needs, the executive order noted that a streamlined review system that fosters “public confidence in biotechnology” while avoiding “undue regulatory burdens” is critical.
The executive order lays out a number of steps to achieve these goals, including basing regulatory decisions on scientific evidence while considering the law and economic factors. The order also calls for federal regulators making decisions based on “risks associated with the product and its intended end use” and urging trade partners to “adopt science- and risk-based regulatory approaches.”
The presidential order calls for a number of federal departments, such as the Department of Agriculture, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Food and Drug Administration, to “identify relevant regulations and guidance documents within their respective jurisdictions that can be streamlined to ensure that products of agricultural biotechnology are regulated in accordance with the policy set forth” by the order.
Read more from the Genetic Literacy Project.