APHIS Seeks Comments on Whether to Regulate Movement of Animals Modified or Developed by Genetic Engineering
On December 28, 2020, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) published an advance notice of proposed rulemaking to solicit comments and feedback on whether to establish a regulatory framework for the movement of animals modified or developed through genetic engineering. The framework would include a transition of oversight for species modified or developed using genetic engineering from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to APHIS. APHIS would conduct safety assessments to see if modified animals may be susceptible to or have an ability to transmit pests or diseases. The Food Safety and Inspection Service within the Department of Agriculture would conduct pre-slaughter food safety assessments to ensure that processing of such animals would not result in adulterated or misbranded products. The agency seeks specific comments and feedback on several questions including data and information pertaining to small businesses. Written comments on the notice are due by February 26, 2021.