Biotechnology Working Group of the National Science and Technology Council: Emerging Technologies Interagency Policy Coordination Committee Update

On July 2, 2015, the Executive Office of the President (EOP) issued a memorandum directing the primary agencies that regulate the products of biotechnology—the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

While the current regulatory system for the products of biotechnology effectively protects health and the environment, in some cases, uncertainty about agency jurisdiction, lack of predictability of timeframes for review, and other processes have imposed unnecessary costs and burdens on small and mid-sized companies and academics.

The new Biotechnology Working Group under the Emerging Technologies Interagency Policy Coordination Committee (ETIPC) has implemented the following tasks:

 As instructed in the July 2015 EOP memorandum, for at least five years, starting one year after the release of the Strategy, EPA, FDA, and USDA are expected to produce an annual report on the specific steps the agencies are taking to implement this Strategy. In their first annual report, the agencies may, if appropriate, provide a concrete list of regulatory and other activities and expected timeframes. The agencies will also include in that report any additional actions taken by the agencies to improve the transparency, predictability, and efficiency of biotechnology regulation and the coordination among the regulatory agencies.

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