WASHINGTON, June 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.
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 release added that the Department of Agriculture had only processed an average of five petitions to approve new crops each year from 1993 through 2017.
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.