Amanda Lang: You're kidding yourself if you think you can avoid GM food
President Donald Trump plans to sign an executive order directing federal agencies to ease the approval of genetically modified crops and other agricultural biotechnology, said two people familiar with the directive.
The order will instruct the U.S. Agriculture Department, the Food and Drug Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency -- all of which have jurisdiction over genetically engineered agricultural products -- to review their biotechnology regulations to streamline approval processes.
Trump intends to sign the order Tuesday, when he’s also scheduled to tour an ethanol plant in politically important Iowa, the people said.
The Agriculture Department last week proposed a broad overhaul of biotech rules that would exempt from regulation genetically edited farm products with traits “similar in kind” to modifications that could be produced through traditional breeding techniques. The department said the new rules would bring new GMO crops to market faster and save developers money.
Wheat plants genetically engineered to resist the Monsanto herbicide Roundup were recently detected in an unplanted field in Washington state, although there’s no evidence the grain has entered the food supply, the Agriculture Department announced on Friday. USDA didn’t say when or more precisely where the wheat was discovered. Genetically modified wheat hasn’t been approved for sale in the U.S.