System for Regulating Biotech Products to get Makeover
A lot of debates and discussions are taking place over whether or not genetically modified (GMO) crops should be labeled. Amidst this discussion, the White House has asked the three US agencies taking care of biotech crops that they should improve their measures to strengthen public confidence in a system.
The instruction has come at a time when consumers, food-related organizations and businesses have been asking for stricter US rules for GMO crops. Biotech crops are handled by the three organizations - APHIS, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
The White House said, "The complexity of the array of regulations and guidance documents developed by the three Federal agencies ... can make it difficult for the public to understand how the safety of biotechnology products is evaluated".
In return, the administration has ensured that it will come up with such regulations that will make the roles and responsibilities of the EPA, USDA, and FDA, very clear. Also, it will make strategy that will make regulators clear about the risks with future biotech products.
An independent analysis of what lies for biotech products in future will be carried out. Scott Faber, senior vice president of the Environmental Working Group, said that there is a need to have such reforms for this system.
The Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) has welcomed the move and stated that the stated steps will lead to a path of transparent approval system of new products. ?
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