America’s livestock industry accounts for millions of U.S. jobs and nearly 6 percent of our Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Our country has always been the global leader in agricultural production and exports, and thanks to vigilant diligence by the USDA and the U.S. Bureau of Customs and Border Protection, we have been able to keep numerous foreign animal diseases outside our borders. However, we want to ensure that diligence continues, otherwise inaction could threaten America’s standing, putting the livestock industry, the economy and consumers at risk.
American agriculture is facing numerous challenges and unfortunately, an overwhelming share is being shouldered by U.S. pork producers like myself. However, the news earlier this week of a signed trade deal with Japan is significant and hopefully a catalyst for similar agreements in other countries.
Last week, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) responded to calls from our community to reconsider its role in regulating gene editing technology in animal agriculture. Despite the Trump administration’s recent directive to streamline costly and overly burdensome regulations that inhibit innovation and investment, FDA maintains it is unwilling to cede any regulatory control of this important technology.
For more than a century, advances in science and technology have made the U.S. food supply the safest, most abundant and most affordable in the world. Our farmers have led the way in applying new developments in sanitation, robotics, GPS and scientific livestock breeding.