Thursday, April 21, 2011

GMO Regulation Has Never Been Strong, But Now...

We at SLOLA appreciate the work of the Organic Seed Alliance. They just posted this on their blog and it deserves a repost:

Regulatory Oversight of GE Crops Just Got Weaker
Posted on April 20, 2011 by Kristina Hubbard

USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is responsible for overseeing experimental field trials of genetically engineered (GE) crops and reviewing petitions for the “deregulation” (approval) of new GE crops entering the commercial marketplace. APHIS has approved more than 80 of these petitions since the early 1990s (mostly GE traits in corn, canola, soybeans, and cotton). Twenty-one petitions are currently pending approval.

The Coordinated Framework for Regulation of Biotechnology has long been criticized as an inadequate regulatory system for ensuring the proper review and safe introduction of GE crops. No new law has ever been introduced to address the unique challenges GE organisms pose. Instead, the government relies on a patchwork of laws — some of which predate the technology — and the subjective interpretation of three agencies’ roles under these laws. One criticism is that no independent studies are required to analyze potential agronomic, environmental, human health, and economic implications. The government largely relies on the manufacturer’s own data when putting together an environmental assessment before approving (because they’ve never denied) a petition.

Read the rest of this article at their blog site.


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