Trump signs executive order to streamline biotech regulations

Trump signs executive order to streamline biotech regulations

Agency News

Washington, Jun 12 : US President Donald Trump on Wednesday ordered US regulators to streamline and accelerate the process for approving genetically engineered agricultural products.

"Today, President Trump is signing an executive order directing Federal agencies to streamline the agricultural biotechnology regulatory processes," the White House said in a statement today.In the text of the executive order Trump said federal oversight of agricultural biotechnology products must be science-based, timely, and efficient. The executive order covers plant or animal products developed through genetic engineering or through the targeted "in vivo or in vitro manipulation of genetic information." Such products are also referred to as genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

The order, according to the White House, will help eliminate delays, reduce developer costs, and provide greater certainty about the review process for farmers.The State Department in a press release said Trump is directing the department to make the case abroad for acceptance of US biotech exports and opening markets for American farmers.

Biotech crops, the State Department added, underpin billions of dollars in US exports and "play a crucial role in supporting food security globally."According to a US Agricultural Department fact sheet, agricultural biotechnology includes a range of tools including traditional breeding techniques that alter living organisms to make products and improve plants.

The US Department of Agriculture had only processed an average of five petitions to approve new crops each year from 1993 through 2017, the statement added.Genetically Modified Food is restricted in Europe and Russia and opposed by environmental advocacy groups in the United States, where the technique is widely used on grains. Opponents fear genetic modification of food threatens consumers with unintended adverse health consequences.  (UNI)