Food Safety: Regulating Plant Agricultural Biotechnology in the United States   [open pdf - 81KB]

Consumers worldwide are rightly concerned about the safety of the foods they eat. This concern has intensified with advancements in bioengineered foods. Under a policy developed in 1986, three lead federal agencies ? the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA-APHIS), the Department of Health and Human Services' Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ? have the responsibility for implementing the nation's biotechnology regulatory framework. Within this framework, the U.S. regulatory process is constantly being reassessed and refined for all foods, both bioengineered and traditional. The United States has more than a decade of experience in regulating bioengineered foods. About 50 varieties of bioengineered food crops have gone through the U.S. government regulatory procedures, and thousands of foods containing ingredients from these bioengineered crops are currently on the U.S. market. This fact sheet outlines the five regulatory procedures that occur from the time a scientist has an idea for a potentially marketable bioengineered plant product to when the product finally ends up in the local food market.

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U.S. Department of State, http://usinfo.state.gov
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