Biotech Updates

USDA Revises Biotech Regulations to SECURE Agri Innovations

June 13, 2019

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that they are proposing to modernize biotechnology regulations in such a way that the efficient agricultural production to address sustainability is incorporated while also considering the responsible and predictable regulatory oversight to protect the ecology and plant health.

USDA made the proposal based on the following principles: Sustainable, Ecological, Consistent, Uniform, Responsible, Efficient or SECURE. The new proposed rule allows plant health to be protected while agricultural innovation thrives at the same time.  It features regulatory flexibility for genetic engineering (GE) improvement that lets regulators oversee plant pest risk based on the best available science. 

In the past, USDA has actively asked stakeholders to participate in making changes to the existing regulations through a transparent review process. This was done to foster public confidence without hindering scientific innovation. SECURE incorporates some provisions of the 2008 Farm Bill and recommendations from the 2015 USDA Inspector General report on GE organisms. The proposal will be up for public review and comments will be accepted in a two-month time frame. This will be the first significant revision of USDA's biotechnology regulations since 1987.

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