UNITED STATES—President Trump signed an Executive Order on June 11 that will help eliminate delays, reduce development costs and modernize the regulatory framework for agricultural biotechnology products.
As reported on the White House website, the current regulatory process for farmers is referred to as a “regulatory maze.”
“Our Nation will always be proud of the unmatched grit and faith and skill of the American farmer,” said President Trump.
The U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny Perdue, issued the following statement on the USDA website.
“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. I applaud President Trump for signing this important Executive Order that will help America’s farmers do what we aspire to do at USDA: Do Right and Feed Everyone,” Perdue added.
The United States-Mexico-Canada (USMCA) Trade Agreement sets an unprecedented standard for agricultural biotechnology. According to the USDA website, the agreement supports 21st-century innovations in agriculture including all biotechnologies, including genome editing which involves DNA technology in farming.
The USDA is one of three federal agencies which regulate products of food and agricultural technology. Together, the USDA, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have a Coordinated Framework for the Regulation of Biotechnology and regulates these products for human, animal, plant and environmental health. For products derived from plant biotechnology, USDA’s regulations focus on protecting plant health; the FDA oversees food and feed safety; and EPA regulates the sale, distribution, and testing of pesticides in order to protect human health and the environment.
In 2017, President Trump issued an executive order establishing an interagency task force on agriculture “to ensure the informed exercise of regulatory authority that impacts agriculture in rural communities.”
The task force report was released to President Trump in 2018.