Pork Producers launch campaign to involve USDA in gene editing | TSLN.com

Pork Producers launch campaign to involve USDA in gene editing

The National Pork Producers Council today launched a campaign to shift the regulation of gene editing for animals from the Food and Drug Administration to the Agriculture Department.

NPPC said, “Under FDA regulation, gene editing faces an impractical, lengthy and expensive approval process, threatening hundreds of thousands of jobs and nearly 6% of U.S. Gross Domestic Product.”

The NPPC called the FDA’s claim of regulatory jurisdiction over animal genetics “a regulatory land grab,” and said that the FDA’s regulation “inaccurately classifies livestock as drugs and farms as drug-manufacturing facilities, creating significant challenges for the international trade in animals and animal products.”

NPPC maintains that the review process in place for genetic editing in plants at the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) “can easily be adopted for livestock.”

“Allowing the FDA to regulate gene editing could drive elite animal breeding out of the U.S., long the international leader, and place U.S. producers at a potentially catastrophic competitive disadvantage with foreign competitors,” said Bradley Wolter, president of The Maschhoffs, a company that produces more than 4 million market hogs per year, in a news release.

“International competitors that commercialize this technology will gain as much as a 15 percent production efficiency advantage over U.S. pork,” Wolter said.

“It’s critical that America remains the global leader in agricultural innovation and gives regulatory oversight to the USDA, the agency that is most equipped to do so.”

–The Hagstrom Report