In late January,
the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection
Service (APHIS) announced its intent to make weeping
changes to the regulations that apply to genetically engineered organisms. The revisions promise to have significant, farreaching and long-lasting implications for the agricultural, pharmaceutical and industrial chemical sectors.
APHIS is the USDA
office that regulates the introduction of genetically engineered organisms that
may present a plant pest risk. The recent notice concerns genetically engineered
organisms that may pose a noxious weed risk and enetically engineered biological
control agents. Regulations issued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
(EPA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) would not be affected directly.