Although humans and animals have been consuming genetically engineered food from plants for years, images of genetically modified animals open new and often contentious debates about the issue. Led by Dr. Alison Van Eenennaam, University of California–Davis, a task force of experts recently examined current regulations, criticisms of the process, and implications for the future.
The centerpiece of a new paper from the Council for Agricultural Science and Technology is a case study of the AquAdvantage salmon proposal, but the findings here have far-reaching implications. After looking at various sides of the issue, the authors conclude with a clear statement: “The current regulatory approach, coupled with the prolonged and unpredictable time frame, has resulted in an inhibitory effect on commercial investment in the development of GE animals for agricultural applications with ramifications for U.S. agriculture and food security.”
According to Dr. Van Eenennaam, “Some of the controversy regarding GE animals stems from issues of regulatory oversight of research, development, and postapproval marketing.”
The paper looks at a brief history of the regulations; who regulates and how; details regarding the evaluation of possible risks (health and environment); and coordination with other agencies and oversight of the regulations.
“This important, timely paper will be of interest to policymakers, agricultural producers, and the public,” says Dr. John Bonner, CAST Executive Vice President/CEO. The full text of The Science and Regulation of Food from Genetically Engineered Animals (Commentary QTA2011-2) may be accessed free of charge on the CAST website at www.cast-science.org, along with many of CAST’s other scientific publications.