The White House praised biotechnology for its contributions to the national economy Thursday and pledged to continue the regulatory reform that it said would help bring more products to market.
“Expected benefits of this effort include reduced government costs, improved relationships with foreign trade partners, and new market opportunities for U.S. products abroad, among many others,” the White House said in a National Bioeconomy Blueprint released by the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP).
Biotechnology has already had a huge positive impact, the document said.
“A recent report by the National Research Council . . . estimated that through the use of biotechnology-enabled control of corn rootworm, 10 million acres of farmland produced $231 million in additional annual revenue from crop yield gains, reduced insecticide use by 5.5 million pounds annually, and eliminated 5.5 million gallons of water annually from the farming process,” it said, adding that according to the USDA, U.S. revenues from genetically modified crops were roughly $76 billion in 2010.
The document noted that new biotech products are carefully reviewed by the Food & Drug Administration, USDA, and other agencies.
“Supported by studies that analyzed decades of research, genetic engineering has had a remarkable history of safe development and production of drugs, crops, foods, and other products,” the blueprint said. It added that agencies would continue to follow President Obama’s directive to “dramatically streamline and improve” the regulatory process.
“We appreciate the President’s recognition of the need to clear the path for American innovation and ingenuity and unleash the tremendous promise of biotechnology to help solve many of the biggest challenges facing our nation today and foster economic growth throughout the United States,” said Jim Greenwood, president and CEO of the Biotechnology Industry Organization(BIO). Read more.