On Thursday, July 2nd, 2015, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) ordered a review the regulatory policies for biotechnology products. ASPB welcomes this opportunity to engage both OSTP and the relevant federal agencies. The administration’s efforts, which will cover both agricultural and biomedical products, will seek to improve public confidence in the regulatory system and remove barriers to innovation, while continuing to protect public health and the environment.
- an update to the Coordinated Framework for the Regulation of Biotechnology;
- the development of a long-term strategy to ensure that the federal regulatory system is well-equipped to assess efficiently any risks and benefits associated with the future products of biotechnology; and
- a National Academies analysis of the future landscape of the products of biotechnology.
As you may recall, last year the Society released a position statement on plant genetic engineering, which was shared with the White House, urging federal agencies to review and update the Coordinated Framework. ASPB’s statement also recommends a broad intellectual framework for the regulation of the products of ag biotechnology: “ASPB… supports the continued use and further development of appropriate, science-based procedures and regulations to assess the risks and benefits of all new agricultural technologies and products, including those developed using genetic engineering.” It is reassuring, therefore, to see that the guidance provided by the administration to the federal agencies echoes this language, calling for “high standards that are based on the best available science.”
ASPB is already communicating with staff at the White House and the National Academies on this matter, and we will remain actively engaged to encourage the development of regulatory policies that focus upon products rather than the methods by which those products are generated. Although this effort will be ongoing, we encourage you to share your thoughts and questions with us below so we can best represent the perspectives of our membership.