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EPA, USDA, FDA Launch Joint Website to Streamline Info about Agricultural Biotechnology Products

WASHINGTON (Jan. 9, 2020) — In recognition of National Biotechnology Month, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) launched a unified website that provides a one-stop-shop for information about the actions the federal government is taking to oversee the development of agricultural biotechnology products. This new website is a key accomplishment under President Trump’s Executive Order on Modernizing the Regulatory Framework for Agricultural Biotechnology Products.

The Unified Website for Biotechnology Regulation describes the federal review process for certain biotechnology products and allows users to submit questions to the three agencies. The goals of the website are to provide enhanced customer service to innovators and developers, while ensuring Americans continue to enjoy the safest and most affordable food supply in the world and can learn more about the safe use of biotechnology products.

EPA regulates the sale, distribution, use and testing of pesticides to protect public health and the environment. Under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act, EPA regulates pesticides. Under section 408 of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, EPA establishes the amount of pesticide chemical residues that may be present in food. Under the Toxic Substances Control Act and regulations implementing that statute, EPA currently regulates biotechnology products that are new microorganisms not specifically excluded by the statute (generally those regulated by other statutes). EPA is also actively working through the regulatory process to use its existing statutory authority, as appropriate, to exempt low-risk products of agricultural biotechnology from undue regulation to the extent consistent with the law, as directed under President Trump’s Executive Order. 

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