Farm Groups Call on USDA to Oversee GE Animals

Agriculture groups are pressing the Food and Drug Administration to hand over the regulation of genetically engineered animals to the Department of Agriculture.

Under current policy, the FDA oversees the review and safety of GE animals, but the USDA overseas GE plants. Politico reports that animal agriculture groups insist the FDA framework lacks clarity and the process is slow, pointing to the fact that the FDA has cleared just one GE animal, the AquaAdvantage salmon, in a process that took more than 20 years to complete.

Leading the charge is the pork industry as gene-edited hogs resistant to disease are expected to be commercially available within a couple of years, specifically, resistant to Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome, a disease that costs the industry hundreds of millions of dollars annually.

The move follows a similar action in which the industry was seeking joint regulation from USDA and the FDA regarding cell-based meats.