The Agriculture Department has finalized a sweeping overhaul of its approval process for biotech crops that will exempt some gene modifications from regulation and allow developers to decide on their own whether their products qualify.
Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, who insists he’s optimistic about a farm economy rebound this year, faces a pair of congressional hearings this week where he is certain to face further grilling about trade prospects and future of the Market Facilitation Program.
The Food and Drug Administration, facing increased criticism of its regulatory process for gene-edited animals, is mounting a new effort to defend its policies to farmers, researchers and developers, but the industry is backing the Agriculture Department's push to take over some of FDA's oversight role.
Leaders of the three largest seed and chemical companies say it’s technologically possible to reduce farming’s environmental footprint while feeding a growing global population, but they worry policymakers and regulators will stand in the way.
The CEO of seed and chemical giant Corteva Agriscience believes farmers must play a major role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and says he's working with other companies as well as academics and non-governmental organizations to address the climate issue.
Crop developers say USDA’s effort to streamline its regulation of biotech crops will still slow the commercialization of many gene-edited products, but groups representing grain traders, food processors and restaurant chains are slamming the department's proposal, claiming it could lead to trade disruptions and undermine consumer confidence.