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Crop Biotech Update

U.S. Lawmakers Call for Consistency in Regulating Biotech

October 25, 2017

Seventy nine (79) members of the U.S. House of Representatives addressed some issues in the regulation of GM crops through a letter submitted to the heads of Department of Agriculture, Food and Drug Administration, and Environmental Protection Agency.

One of the concerns they brought up is the proposed changes in the regulation of gene editing techniques. "While we appreciate the thoughtful, science based direction USDA offers on products of biotechnology and gene editing that APHIS has ample experience regulating, we are concerned that these drafts offer deeply conflicting regulatory approaches. Moreover, we do not believe they provide the consistent, appropriate system needed to promote the development of these innovative tools," the lawmakers explained in their letter.

They also added that the contradictory changes proposed are sending inconsistent signals to the country's trade partners, who are currently studying the accurate approaches to these technologies. "We are concerned that if the administration does not quickly develop a uniform position on biotechnology in agriculture, including gene editing, we will see an unworkable patchwork of international regulations emerge that will effectively further suppress American innovation and the solutions that come with it," they stressed.

Congressmen Neal P. Dunn, K. Michael Conaway, and Jimmy Panetta are three of the 79 lawmakers who submitted the letter.

Read the complete letter from Dunn's official website.