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Push for Speedier Review

US President Donald Trump signed an executive order this week instructing federal agencies speed up the review process for agricultural biotechnology products, Reuters reports. The order, it adds, calls on the Department of Agriculture, the Food and Drug Administration, and the Environmental Protection Agency to develop new regulations, and would include the regulatory processes for genetically modified livestock and seeds.

According to Reuters, President Trump says streamlining the regulatory process would "speed up reviews of biotechnology so that farmers can get access to critical scientific advances faster and reap the full benefits of American innovation for many years into the future." In a statement, the White House adds that current regulatory processes can take a decade or so to move through and that eliminating delays could boost investment in agricultural biotech.

Meanwhile, UPI reports that the USDA is considering deregulating some genetically engineered crops. Under the proposed rule, genetically modified plants that could have been developed through traditional breeding means wouldn't be subject to regulation, it says. In a notice appearing in the Federal Register, the agency says comments on the proposed rule will be considered through August 5, 2019.