Tags: GMO Foods | Trump Administration | usda | regulations | genetically modified crops

USDA's Easing of Regulations for Genetically Modified Crops Criticized

veggie straws and another bag labeled with non gmo symbols
Labels on bags of snack foods indicate they are non-GMO food products. (Robyn Beck/Getty Images)

By    |   Wednesday, 17 June 2020 09:25 AM

A plan by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to ease the regulation of genetically modified crops would let developers themselves determine whether their crops should be regulated, Raw Story reported on Wednesday.

The Center for Food Safety criticized the change in regulation as "arbitrary and capricious and contrary to sound science."

The Plant Protection Act signed by President Bill Clinton gave the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service the authority to regulate genetically engineered crops in an effort to lower the risk of spreading plant pests or harmful weeds.

Trump’s changes would permit the developers of genetically engineered plants to decide if their companies should be exempted from the regulation.

Greg Ibach, the USDA's undersecretary for marketing and regulatory programs, insisted that “this common-sense approach will ultimately give farmers more choices in the field and consumers more choices at the grocery store.”

But the center said that assessing the risk of plant pests must take unintended, as well as intended, effects of genetic modification into account.

Adding to the controversy over the easing of regulations is that it could benefit Florida billionaire Randal Kirk, who hired Trump fundraiser and lobbyist Roy Bailey, Raw Story reported.

Just 21 days after Bailey became a lobbyist for Intrexon, one of Kirk’s companies, the APHIS withdrew a proposed regulation to grant more power to the agency to evaluate whether genetically modified plants could become harmful weeds.

Records show Intrexon paid Bailey’s lobbying firm about $180,000 from 2017 through 2019 to meet with various officials from the White House, as well as agencies — including the USDA, according to records.

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A plan by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to ease the regulation of genetically modified crops would let developers themselves determine whether their crops should be regulated, Raw Story reported on Wednesday. The Center for Food Safety criticized the change in...
usda, regulations, genetically modified crops
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2020-25-17
Wednesday, 17 June 2020 09:25 AM
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