USDA to speed up GM crop approvals
The USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) aims to streamline the processing of petitions for the deregulation of genetically modified crops. The APHIS expects to cut processing times by more than 50% to 13-15 months. The process improvement is part of a USDA “customer service plan” to reduce costs and accelerate the delivery of services. The APHIS expects to make “significant improvements” through streamlining data needs, reducing the time for drafting risk assessments and improving project management and tracking. It aims to reduce the time taken for deregulation decisions while maintaining “strong oversight”, the APHIS notes.