Included in a budget deal to avert a government shutdown is funding for the Food and Drug Administration for consumer outreach and education regarding agricultural biotechnology. The Washington Post reports the money is to be used to tout “the environmental, nutritional, food safety, economic, and humanitarian impacts” of biotech crops and their final food products. The bill includes $3 million for the campaign, that comes after more than 50 agriculture and food industry groups had signed a letter last month urging the funding to counter “a tremendous amount of misinformation about agricultural biotechnology in the public domain.” It’s unclear what the FDA campaign will look like, or when it will launch. The Washington Post points out that the $3 million allocated is little more than a speck in the FDA’s total allocated budget of $2.8 billion. The budget specifies only that the initiative be developed in collaboration with the Department of Agriculture, and include the “publication and distribution of science-based educational information.”
From the National Association of Farm Broadcasting news service.