Secretary Perdue Proposes Transfer of Animal Biotech Regulatory Framework to USDA

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue Monday announced a proposal to modernize regulations of agricultural animals modified or produced by genetic engineering. The Department of Agriculture will move forward with the rulemaking plan to move the regulatory framework to USDA. Perdue says the initiative follows President Donald Trump’s Executive Order on agricultural biotechnology that called upon federal agencies to make regulatory improvements to rectify long-standing barriers to innovation for U.S. agriculture.

In a statement, the Secretary says, “If we do not put these safe biotechnology advances to work here at home, our competitors in other nations will.” Perdue adds USDA is outlining a pragmatic, science-based, and risk-based approach that focuses on potential risks to animal and livestock health, the environment, and food safety. USDA’s proposal would cover molecular characterization, animal health efficacy, environmental considerations, food safety evaluation, and food storage and processing. USDA’s proposal would also provide end-to-end regulatory oversight from pre-market reviews through post-market food safety monitoring of animals.