Coordinated federal review of advances in agricultural biotechnology will help America’s farmers and ranchers achieve gains in efficiency and productivity needed to meet the continued challenges of the 21st century, according to American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall.
“American agriculture must stay on the cutting edge of technology,” Duvall said. “Agency collaboration and efficient government review of new food production methods will help foster public confidence, provide our farmers and ranchers tools that enhance their productivity and respect the diversity of our nation’s crops and cropping systems.”
Duvall’s comments came in response to a bipartisan letter from 79 members of the House to Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt. Spearheaded by Reps. Neal Dunn (R-Fla.) and Jimmy Panetta (D-Calif.), the letter urges federal regulators to adhere to a “consistent, science-based, risk-proportionate regulatory system” for agricultural biotechnology.
Like the letter, Duvall urged the department and agency leaders to coordinate and advance timely reviews of advances in biotechnology and biology-based tools including gene editing. He said policies and strategies should embrace the review of innovation, domestically and internationally, through the president’s Interagency Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity.
“We will continue to highlight the need for a sound scientific and appropriate risk-based regulatory approach that will ensure farmers and ranchers have the tools and innovation they need to meet the challenges of the future in the most sustainable way possible,” Duvall said.