People may comment on USDA’s proposed rule, “Movement of Certain Genetically Engineered Organisms,” through Aug. 5, 2019.
The rule is the first significant revision of USDA’s biotechnology regulations since they were established in 1987. It covers USDA regulations regarding the movement of certain genetically engineered organisms.
The rule reduces the regulatory burden for developers of genetically engineered organisms. USDA says it was guided by Sustainable, Ecological, Consistent, Uniform, Responsible and Efficient principles, or SECURE.
“As the name SECURE implies, this proposed rule incorporates the need for efficient and sustainable agricultural production to help feed and clothe the world combined with responsible and predictable regulatory oversight to safeguard America’s ecology and plant health,” said USDA Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs Greg Ibach.
USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service oversees the importation, interstate movement and environmental release of genetically engineered organisms to ensure they do not pose a plant pest risk. SECURE is designed to have sufficient regulatory flexibility for advances in genetic engineering and our understanding of the plant pest risk posed by them. SECURE also incorporates certain provisions of the 2008 Farm Bill and recommendations from the 2015 USDA Office of Inspector General report on GE organisms.
“SECURE would enable APHIS to evaluate GE organisms for plant pest risk with greater precision than the current rule allows, ensuring oversight and risk are based on the best available science,” said Ibach.
After the public comment period closes, we will decide next steps based on our evaluation of public comments. Additionally, USDA plans to publish a draft programmatic Environmental Impact Statement soon.