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Daily News Archive
From February 25, 2002

Study Calls for Stricter Regulations of Genetically Engineered Crops

The National Academy of Sciences released a report on February 21, voicing the need for more stringent environmental safeguards by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for genetically modified crops, according to the Los Angeles Times. The current system is not adequate to protect the environment from potential hazards of chemical-producing crops that the USDA regulates. For example, biotechnology companies field-test their own crops and then notify the USDA that their product meets environmental standards. Furthermore, most information in the 1,000 applications received by USDA from biotechnology companies annually is full of business secrets concealed from the public.

The National Academy of Sciences called for more thorough assessments of environmental risks by including a third scientific party to be part of the review process. In addition, the study recommended that information about the crops should be more readily available to the public, and that USDA should more actively pursue public comment in approval of genetically engineered products.

USDA officials responded that they have begun addressing problems the study cited.

For more information about genetically modified crops, please contact Beyond Pesticides.