White House Calls for Update to Biotech Regulation

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For Immediate Release: 
Thursday, July 2, 2015

WASHINGTON - The White House's call to update the system evaluating the safety of crops and food produced by genetic engineering is a foundation for building a more transparent food system that includes mandatory GMO labeling, according to the Environmental Working Group.

The White House has directed three federal agencies- the Environmental Protection Agency, Food and Drug Administration and U.S. Department of Agriculture- to update the Coordinated Framework, a regulatory policy that governs safety evaluations of plants, animals, and microbes that have been developed through genetic engineering. The Coordinated Framework was originally issued in 1986 and hasn’t been updated since 1992.

"Reform of the badly outdated system for reviewing GMO crops and other products is long overdue," said Scott Faber, senior Vice President of the Environmental Working Group. “Today's announcement confirms the need for more transparency in our food system and only further illustrates why mandatory GMO labeling is so necessary. The President should not wait to make good on his 2007 campaign pledge to require mandatory labeling, and he should make clear that he will reject legislation, notably the DARK Act, that would make it harder to label GMOs."

More than 125 business leaders sent a letter to the President last week thanking him for his leadership on food issues and asking for his continued support in implementing a mandatory federal GMO labeling standard. They also asked that President Obama veto Rep. Mike Pompeo’s (R-Kan.) anti-GMO labeling bill, also known as the DARK act, should it pass Congress.

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