Keith Matthews Discusses Efforts to Update Regulatory System for Agricultural Biotechnology
Keith A. Matthews, of counsel in Wiley’s Environment & Product Regulation Practice, was quoted by Law360 in a February 2 article about critical issues the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will face, in addition to climate change, under the Biden Administration.
One challenge will be continuing efforts to update the federal regulatory scheme for biotechnology in agriculture, Mr. Matthews told Law360. As he noted in the article, the EPA, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration all have regulatory authority over various genetically engineered products.
But the three agencies operate under separate statutory frameworks and approach genetic engineering technology from different regulatory perspectives, Mr. Matthews said. He explained that with a more coordinated framework for addressing technological advances, the agencies’ regulatory efforts could keep pace with companies’ innovations.
“What I’d like to see is a regulatory system developed whereby the regulators aren’t so reactive, and they put a system in place where they can kind of anticipate, or at least be able to deal with more effectively, the scientific developments that are coming,” Mr. Matthews said.
He also noted that while the EPA will confront other pressing issues over the next four years, “President Biden’s first priority in the environmental context is climate change, which is as it should be. No other issue that his Administration faces poses an existential threat to the biosphere and life on this planet as we know it.”
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