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“Our Nation will always be proud of the unmatched grit and faith and skill of the American farmer.”

President Trump signed an Executive Order on Tuesday in attempt to promote agriculture overseas. The President is directing the U.S. Department of State to join the Departments of Agriculture and other agencies in making the case abroad for acceptance for American biotech exports, opening markets for U.S. businesses and farmers and minimizing barriers to trade.

The Order, “Executive Order on Modernizing the Regulatory Framework for Agricultural Biotechnology Products,” reportedly stems from the January 2018 Presidential Task Force Report on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity, which unveiled recommendations for how the U.S. government can continue to prioritize meeting the needs of American agricultural and rural communities.  According to a press release from the US Department of State the Task Force Report pointed to the biotechnology sector as ushering in a “fourth industrial revolution” and acknowledged that biotech innovation plays a crucial role in driving prosperity for farmers, consumers, and entrepreneurs all over the United States.

From the US Department of State:

Supporting America’s businesses and farmers by promoting U.S. innovation abroad is an essential part of the U.S. Department of State’s mission.  Biotech crops underpin billions of dollars in U.S. exports and play a crucial role in supporting food security globally.  The U.S. Department of State works to build international acceptance of these products, to advocate for farmer and consumer choice, and to uphold science-based approaches for agriculture.  In these efforts, we emphasize that access to fair markets that support innovation and trade is critical for American farmers and ranchers.  In doing so, we are also addressing the global challenges of sustainably producing abundant food, feed, fiber, and energy.

From Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue:

“Our current regulatory framework has impeded innovation instead of facilitating it. With this Executive Order, President Trump is once again putting America first and setting us on a course to modernize our regulatory framework so that it works for our farmers, ranchers, and consumers. We need all the tools in the toolbox to meet the challenge of feeding everyone now and into the future – if we do not put these safe biotechnology advances to work here at home, our competitors in other nations will,” said Secretary Perdue. “Science-based advances in biotechnology have great promise to enhance rural prosperity and improve the quality of life across America’s heartland and around the globe. I applaud President Trump for signing this important Executive Order that will help America’s farmers do what we aspire to do at USDA: Do Right and Feed Everyone.”

From HHS Secretary Alex Azar:

“Today’s advances in biotechnology make possible the development of many promising, innovative food products, such as those obtained from genome-edited animals and plants. HHS aims to ensure the safety of these agricultural biotechnology products, as part of FDA’s public health mission, while also increasing regulatory transparency, coordination, and predictability for this emerging area. Enhancing public confidence in the regulatory system while also avoiding unnecessary barriers to biotechnology innovations is a priority for HHS and for the whole Trump Administration.

“Today, President Trump is affirming the importance of agricultural biotechnology innovation by signing an Executive Order to modernize the regulatory frameworks for these products to ensure that they are science-based, timely, efficient, and transparent. We look forward to implementing the Executive Order as part of a regulatory approach to agricultural biotechnology that enables safe innovation to benefit American consumers.”

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Jessica Szilagyi
Jessica Szilagyi is a Statewide Contributor for AllOnGeorgia.com. She focuses primarily on state and local politics as well as agricultural news. She has a background in Political Science, with a focus in local government, and has a Master of Public Administration from the University of Georgia. She's a "Like It Or Not" contributor for Fox5 in Atlanta and has two blogs of her own: The Perspicacious Conservative and "Hair Blowers to Lawn Mowers."

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