WASHINGTON, Jan. 12, 2017 - President-elect Donald Trump and the Republican Congress should scrap a wide range of laws and regulations that impinge on free choice, including the ethanol mandate and biotech crop oversight, says a libertarian Washington group with oil, coal and financial industry ties.
to Prosper: A Pro-Growth Agenda for the 115th Congress,” a 193-page
manifesto from the Competitive Enterprise Institute (
Specifically, it calls for rolling back Dodd-Frank financial
regulations, repudiating the Paris climate agreement and scrapping EPA’s Clean
Power Plan and Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule – all consistent with
Trump’s comments and the proposals of many Republicans in Congress.
The treatise devotes greater attention to agricultural biotechnology, asking for streamlining of regulation of genetically engineered (GE) organisms that, it says, have been “studied extensively by dozens of the world’s leading scientific bodies” and in every case found to pose “no new or unique risks.”
“The expensive and lengthy review process is scientifically unjustified, but it adds millions of dollars to the development costs for each new GE variety,” it says. “The cost and complexity of complying with these regulatory strictures have concentrated GE product development in the hands of just six major seed corporations, and has made it uneconomical to use genetic engineering to develop improved varieties of all but major commodity crops.”
Since 1989, six studies by the National Academies of
Sciences, Engineering and Medicine have concluded that “no scientific
justification exists for regulating genetically engineered organisms any
differently from conventionally bred varieties,”
Congress should repeal the recently-enacted National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard, or at least monitor USDA’s implementation “to ensure that the rule it promulgates provides for the greatest amount of flexibility and the lowest burden for producers,” the report says. “Congress should in future years consider eliminating the disclosure requirement altogether, while still preempting state labeling laws” and codify longstanding FDA policy that reserves mandatory labeling for food products that have been changed in a way that affects safety and nutrition.
The national standard will be “quite burdensome,”
The report also urges retraction of FDA’s guidance to reduce sodium consumption. “The FDA appears to be basing its policies not on sound scientific evidence but on the wishes of extremist public health activists,” it argues. “If the FDA continues on this path unchecked, public health advocates will continue to push toward greater control of our diets. Congress should remind the agency that its charge is to protect the public from acutely dangerous products – not to protect us from our own choices. What constitutes a healthy diet should be left to individuals to decide.”