On Monday, June 19 NAEGA joined the Corn Refiners Association (CRA), the National Grain and Feed Association (NGFA), the National Oilseed Processors Association (NOPA), and the North American Millers Association (NAMA) in comments to the U.S. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) regarding proposed revisions to regulations under 7 CFR Part 340 (“Part 340”) applicable to the importation, interstate movement and environmental release of certain genetically engineered organisms.
The comments urge APHIS to withdraw the proposed Part 340 rule given insufficient interaction and consultation by the U.S. Government with the governments of major U.S. export markets. Instead, the U.S. Government should develop a comprehensive engagement strategy with regulatory agencies in other countries to build international regulatory compatibility and acceptance around a new, more science- and risk-based approach that ensures genetically engineered plants do not pose a plant pest or noxious weed risk. APHIS should also engage and consult adequately with relevant U.S. state governmental bodies concerning its proposed new regulatory approach to avert situations in which individual states may attempt – in the absence of APHIS regulatory oversight – to exercise their own regulatory control over field trials or commercial cultivation of plant-breeding innovation techniques.
Until such time as APHIS achieves broad-based acceptance through such international and domestic engagement of its new regulatory approach, the agency should not move forward with the proposed rule. Moving forward would endanger the marketability of U.S. agriculture products in global markets.
A copy of the comments can be found here.