• Open Access

US regulatory system for genetically modified [genetically modified organism (GMO), rDNA or transgenic] crop cultivars

Authors

  • Alan McHughen,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Botany and Plant Sciences, University of California, Riverside, CA 92521-0124, USA
      * Correspondence (fax 951 827-5717; e-mail alanmc@ucr.edu)
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  • Stuart Smyth

    1. College of Biotechnology, University of Saskatchewan, 51 Campus Drive, Saskatoon, Sask, S7N 5A8, Canada
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* Correspondence (fax 951 827-5717; e-mail alanmc@ucr.edu)

Summary

This paper reviews the history of the federal regulatory oversight of plant agricultural biotechnology in the USA, focusing on the scientific and political forces moulding the continually evolving regulatory structure in place today. Unlike most other jurisdictions, the USA decided to adapt pre-existing legislation to encompass products of biotechnology. In so doing, it established an overarching committee (Office of Science and Technology Policy) to study and distribute various regulatory responsibilities amongst relevant agencies: the Food and Drug Administration, Environmental Protection Agency and US Department of Agriculture. This paper reviews the history and procedures of each agency in the execution of its regulatory duties and investigates the advantages and disadvantages of the US regulatory strategy.

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