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July 31, 2023

APHIS 2022 Impact Report Includes Summary of Biotechnology Activities

Lynn L Bergeson

By Lynn L. Bergeson and Carla N. Hutton
On July 12, 2023, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) announced the release of its 2022 impact report. The 2022 impact report lists the following biotechnology activities:

  • Fully implemented USDA’s revised biotechnology regulations, which allow APHIS to focus oversight on products that may pose a risk and reduce regulatory burden for developers of organisms that are unlikely to pose plant pest risks, providing over $8 million in annual cost savings;
  • Issued two Regulatory Status Review (RSR) decisions, the first under the new RSR process in the revised regulations;
  • Responded to nine requests for confirmation that a plant met the criteria for exemption from regulation, confirming all nine and issuing responses within an average of 39 days from receiving the requests;
  • With state agricultural officials, performed more than 660 inspections of authorized field trials involving organisms developed using genetic engineering, with an 88 percent rate of compliance;
  • Completed one petition for non-regulated status under the legacy regulations, bringing the total number of determinations to 136;
  • Delivered more than 13 presentations to international stakeholders representing 40 countries to offer technical information and build capacity abroad for regulating biotechnology; and
  • Processed over 758 authorizations in 42 states for the movement or field testing of organisms developed using genetic engineering.