The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced in March that it was abandoning its 2008 proposal that would have updated the 1990s era-regulations currently governing genetically engineered (GE) crops. Instead of continuing with that proposal, USDA is starting from scratch. As part of this new approach, USDA has opened up a public comment period through June 22nd to begin the process of crafting new regulations for GE crops.
Currently, three federal agencies are charged with oversight of genetically engineered crops in the United States: the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). However, regulation is uncoordinated, full of loopholes and gaps, and even entirely voluntary in some cases, putting genetically engineered foods into the fields and onto the market without independent analysis of their potential impacts to public health, farmers, or the environment.
USDA is the agency charged with the most oversight of GE crops, including their environmental and agricultural risks. However, USDA has taken such a narrow view of its authority over GE crops that they have largely refused to analyze or regulate them, and has instead relied largely on those who would profit from GE crops to decide how many and what kinds of tests to conduct, and what information is shared with regulators and the public. There are also no mandated contamination prevention practices, no post-market monitoring of commercialized GE crops, and no protection for those harmed by GE contamination.
This inadequate oversight has left the fox guarding the hen house - and consumers and farmers have paid the price.
Tell USDA we need strong, mandatory regulations that protect non-GE and organic farmers, public health, and the environment from the threats of GE crops!
View the Federal Register notice here: http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2015-0036
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