Who is responsible for regulating foods derived from biotechnology?
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) work to ensure that new biotechnology products are safe for the environment and human and animal health.
Within the USDA, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) protects agriculture from insect pests and diseases, and has regulatory oversight over products of biotechnology that could pose such a risk. It regulates organisms and products that are known or suspected to be plant pests or to pose a plant pest risk, including those that have been altered or produced through genetic engineering. It regulates the import, handling, interstate movement, and release into the environment of regulated organisms that are products of biotechnology.
The EPA through a registration process regulates the sale, distribution, and use of pesticides in order to protect health and the environment, including the regulation of those pesticides that are produced by an organism through techniques of biotechnology.
The FDA ensures the safety and proper labeling of all plant-derived food and feed, including those developed through genetic engineering. All food and feed, whether imported or domestic and whether derived from crops modified by conventional breeding techniques or by genetic engineering techniques, must meet the same rigorous safety standards. Food and feed manufacturers are responsible for ensuring that the products they market are safe and properly labeled. The FDA ensures that food and feed manufacturers meet their obligations.
For more information on how the FDA regulates food from genetically engineered plants.