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Conaway, Dunn: USDA Biotech Rule Delivers on President Trump’s Pro-Innovation Agenda

Washington, D.C. – Today, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) issued its final rule to modernize agricultural biotechnology regulations, marking the first comprehensive revision of the regulations since they were established in 1987. The Sustainable, Ecological, Consistent, Uniform, Responsible, and Efficient (SECURE) rule modernizes the agency's oversight of traditional and new plant breeding methods such as gene-editing and acknowledges that regulations should be commensurate with risk. This announcement fulfills USDA's obligations under President Trump’s June 12, 2019 Executive Order directing USDA, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to modernize the regulatory framework for agricultural biotechnology products.

After the announcement, House Agriculture Committee Ranking Member K. Michael Conaway (TX-11) and Biotechnology, Horticulture, and Research Subcommittee Ranking Member Neal Dunn, MD (FL-2) made the following remarks:

“With this action, President Trump once again delivers certainty and predictability for farmers, ranchers, consumers, and the research community. The SECURE rule strikes the right balance of protecting plant health while positioning U.S. agriculture at the forefront of innovation,” said Ranking Member Conaway. “I am also looking forward to updates to the regulatory framework for gene-edited animals that ends the misguided regulation that inaccurately defines animals as drugs. USDA’s expertise and vision will lend credibility to what is currently an anti-innovation status quo.”

“I commend Secretary Perdue for quickly implementing the President’s Executive Order. The SECURE rule gives our scientists regulatory certainty so that their innovations addressing pest and disease pressures, food waste, and climate adaptation can be delivered to the marketplace. We are all now awaiting EPA and FDA to follow USDA’s leadership to enact pro-innovation biotechnology regulations,” said Subcommittee Ranking Member Dunn.