White House Issues Executive Order on Agricultural Biotechnology Innovation

  • On June 13, 2019

Dr. Fred Gmitter, University of Florida

It’s been an exciting couple of weeks for plant breeding innovation, with a great deal of activity in Washington, D.C.

On June 11, the White House released an Executive Order (EO) on innovation in agricultural biotechnology. The EO seeks to drive breeding innovation by streamlining regulatory systems across federal agencies and working toward alignment at the global level. ASTA’s press statement can be found here. The EO comes on the heels of USDA’s release of a new proposed rule (SECURE) to update APHIS’ regulations in a number of areas within its current statutory authority under the Plant Protection Act, including biotechnology and plant breeding innovation.

On June 12, University of Florida citrus researcher, Fred Gmitter, testified before the  House Ag Committee hearing titled: Increasing Resiliency, Mitigating Risk: Examining the Research and Extension Needs of Producers. Dr. Gmitter was featured in ASTA’s video, “Saving the Orange.” Gmitter’s testimony focused on the importance of plant breeding innovation in finding solutions to mitigate the impacts of environmental challenges, like climate change, on today’s food and agriculture production system. Gmitter’s full testimony is available on the Committee website.