House members urge USDA, FDA to work on animal biotech process

A coalition of House members has urged Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and FDA Acting Commissioner Janet Woodcock to cooperative on improving the regulatory process for animal genetic and biotech innovations.

A letter led by House Agriculture Biotechnology, Horticulture, and Research Subcommitte Chair Stacey Plaskett, D-V.I., and Rep. Jim Baird, R-Ind., the subcommittee ranking member, cited the need for an “efficient, risk and science-based regulatory system that can create a safe, predictable path to market.”

“We believe the existing U.S. regulatory process for the review of animals developed or improved through biotechnology requires significant improvement to meet that standard,” the letter said, “and we encourage the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Food & Drug Administration to continue working with each other and with other relevant federal partners to appropriately modernize this important process.”

American Soybean Association President Kevin Scott, a soy grower from Valley Springs, S.D., said, “With devastating animal diseases at our nation’s doorstep, the need for genetic innovations to protect our flocks and herds has never been greater.”

“Reps. Plaskett and Baird should be commended for leading the House Agriculture Committee in this impressive bipartisan appeal for much-needed biotechnology regulatory modernization to protect our nation’s livestock. We urge our country’s regulators to heed their call.”


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