Farmscape for October 8, 2020
The National Pork Producers Council is calling for the U.S. Department of Agriculture to be granted regulatory oversight of gene edited livestock.
For more than two years, by claiming regulatory jurisdiction over gene edited livestock, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has stalled the development of a technology which offers improved animal care, production efficiency and environmental sustainability leaving the U.S. livestock sector at a competitive disadvantage.
Dr. Dan Kovich, the Director of Science and Technology with the National Pork Producers Council, says the USDA has established a regulatory framework for gene edited plants that could easily be extended to livestock.
Clip-Dr. Dan Kovich-National Pork Producers Council:
All of our major competitors have a unified strategy where they look at this through the lens of very specific biotechnology laws which we don't have here and have a unified strategy for agricultural products.
That's a key piece that we're missing here because we're trying to defend two different approaches as we market agricultural products.
It's just not going to work for anyone.
The other thing too is a lot of our competitors are moving forward with regulatory schemes that will promote this technology and allow it to be used that recognise that there are critical differences in terms of safety, what's being done being done between this technology and older technologies.
There's a lot of different things that were done in the past that involve moving genes between species.
That's not what we're talking about here and our competitors are recognising that and really taking a common sense approach to regulating about plants and animals.
We're seeing that in Canada, we're seeing that in South America, China is making big strides forward, huge investments here.
Even the EU, which has long been seen as the last bastion against any genetic technology, is taking a fresh look at this.
Dr. Kovich says the U.S. is falling behind quickly and will continue to fall behind without a unified agricultural strategy at the USDA that can move this technology forward for all of agriculture.
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