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Dairy Facts 2016

IDFA Commends White House for Finalizing Coordinated Framework

Jan 12, 2017

The White House last week released the “2017 Update to the Coordinated Framework for the Regulation of Biotechnology,” which provides a comprehensive summary of the roles of the Environmental Protection Agency, the Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Department of Agriculture when regulating genetically engineered crops, also known as genetically modified organisms (GMOs), and other biotechnology products.

The agencies solicited feedback from the public on the framework last fall. The 2017 update includes a summary of those comments and provides additional clarifying information on the current regulation of biotechnology products, such as describing the types of information FDA considers when conducting its safety and nutritional review of biotech foods, how EPA evaluates certain biotechnology products under federal pesticide laws and how USDA ensures that biotechnology products do not present an animal or plant disease risk.

The guidance included in the framework is important to IDFA members that use products or ingredients made through biotechnology, such as sugar from genetically engineered corn or beets or fermentation produced chymosin. The framework ensures that these and future biotechnology products are properly regulated and safe for consumers and the environment.

“IDFA is pleased that the White House released the 2017 Update to the Coordinated Framework,” said Emily Lyons, IDFA director of regulatory affairs. “This comprehensive summary of agency roles and responsibilities in biotechnology regulation is crucial to ensuring that consumers understand that foods and ingredients derived from biotechnology are safe and nutritious.”

History of the Framework

The Coordinated Framework was first issued in 1986 and outlined the federal regulatory policy for ensuring the safety of biotechnology products. The Framework was last updated in 1992. In order to account for advances in technology, the White House directed EPA, FDA and USDA to update the Framework in 2015.

The 2017 update outlines the roles of each agency and the statutes that guide those roles, as well as case studies and summary tables describing how the agencies regulate an array of biotechnology products.

Member with questions may contact Lyons at

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