Statement of CSPI Biotechnology Director Greg Jaffe

June 12, 2019

If American consumers are going to see the benefits of foods made with genetic engineering or gene editing technology, they will need to have confidence in the regulatory systems that ensure such products are safe for human health and the environment. It’s not clear whether the executive order issued today by the Trump administration will inspire greater consumer confidence or undermine it.

CSPI strongly supports a regulatory system that is science-based, predictable, transparent, and efficient—principles articulated in the executive order. But no attempt at streamlining the work of biotechnology regulators at the Food and Drug Administration, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the Environmental Protection Agency should come at the expense of safety. The Executive Order is devoid of details and we fear it is a blank check for the three regulatory agencies to deregulate whole categories of products. We see this already occurring when last week USDA proposed revisions to their oversight, significantly decreasing the number of ag biotech products it will regulate going forward and allowing the industry to self-determine whether products are subject to regulation.