It's Time for a Real GMO Review Process!

spraying on farm field

The federal government’s approval process for genetically engineered crops and animals is full of loopholes and gaps, and is entirely voluntary in some cases, putting genetically engineered foods into the fields and onto the market without independent analysis of impacts on public health, farmers or the environment.

The White House is asking for public comments on revamping the federal government’s approval process for GMOs, and unless it hears from enough people, there's a chance that a new process could be even weaker than what we have now.

Fill out the form below to tell the White House to create a strong review process for GMOs.

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RE: Clarifying Current Roles and Responsibilities Described in the Coordinated Framework for the Regulation of Biotechnology

Docket No. FDA-2015-N-3403 

Dear President Obama:

The existing Coordinated Framework for regulating products of biotechnology has been a failure. It created regulatory gaps that leave public health, the environment and farmer livelihoods at risk. As you review the coordinated framework, I urge you to put a precautionary approach and truly independent analysis of risk at the center of any new system for federal review of GMO crops, animals, insects or food ingredients.

Specifically, any new framework should:

- Require Independent Safety Testing: The current framework starts with an assumption that GMO crops and organisms are safe unless proven otherwise. This is not a protective approach. Agencies reviewing new GMOs should require long-term evidence and verify any data provided by applicants that they are safe to grow, safe to eat and safe for the environment. Until proven safe, GE crops and animals should not be commercialized.

- Require mandatory labeling of GMO foods and ingredients: In order to track any potential health impacts from GMO foods, we must know who has eaten them.

- Establish liability for contamination that rests with patent holders: The burden for contamination prevention should be borne by those companies profiting from the sales of GMO seeds, not by those harmed by contamination. Regulators should also consider the risk for contamination in new GMO approvals, with high risk of contamination serving as grounds to reject an application.

- Regulate biotechnology products based on the process by which they are created, using genetic engineering as the trigger for regulatory review to ensure that none evade oversight entirely.

Any new coordinated framework for federal review of GMO crops, foods, insects or animals must include independent safety testing, mandatory labeling and patent holder liability. Until these pieces are in place, your administration should halt the approval, commercialization, and release of any new genetically engineered crops, insects or animal organisms.

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