GAO Calls for Greater Coordination, Monitoring of Genetically Engineered Crops
Statement of CSPI Biotechnology Director Gregory Jaffe
December 5, 2008The Center for Science in the Public Interest supports all of the recommendations in today's Government Accountability Office report on genetically engineered crops. The federal government established a coordinated framework for the regulation of GE crops more than 20 years ago. Yet, as pointed out by GAO, the three regulatory agencies--USDA, FDA, and EPA--still do not adequately coordinate their regulation of the food safety or environmental consequences of these crops.
The incoming Obama Administration should implement all of the GAO recommendations, especially one requiring post-approval monitoring for unintended environmental and food safety consequences. The federal government's response to that recommendation by GAO is inadequate and short-sighted, as resources spent on post-market monitoring would protect consumers, the environment, and our trading partners.
The FDA should also meet its commitment to the public made several years ago to publish on the Internet the results of its early food safety assessments of experimental GE crops. Lack of resources and having other safety priorities is not an excuse. Uploading decision documents to the web should simply be normal operating procedure.