Wednesday, November 13, 2013

USDA Asks Public How to Foster Agricultural Coexistence

On November 4th, the USDA published a request in the Federal Register for comments on how to strengthen communication and collaboration between different agricultural systems, including traditionally produced, organic, identity preserved, and genetically engineered crops.

The request comes following the November 19, 2012, report presented to Secretary Vilsack by the USDA Advisory Committee on Biotechnology & 21st Century Agriculture (AC21) entitled, “Enhancing Coexistence: A Report of the AC21 to the Secretary of Agriculture.”  The report made recommendations regarding agricultural coexistence in 5 major areas: (1) potential compensation mechanisms, (2) stewardship, (3) education and outreach, (4) research, and (5) seed quality.

Public input is specifically sought on the area of education and outreach on how to implement the recommendation that USDA foster communication and collaboration between the diverse agricultural systems as well as between USDA and those entities in order to foster coexistence.  USDA posed four specific topics for input which can be found in the Federal Register notice.

Comments received on or before January 3, 2014 will be considered.  Comments can be submitted through the Federal eRulemaking Portal or through mail sent to Docket No. APHIS-2013-0047, Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD, APHIS, Station 3A-03.8, 4700 River Road Unit 118, Riverdale, MD 20737-1238.  Following the comment period, USDA intendes to hold a public forum to discuss the public input and further explore ways to implement the AC21 report recommendations.  The time and place of the public forum will be announced in the Federal Register.

For more information on the comment request, see the Federal Register notice.  Click here to learn more about AC21 and view the report.

Written by Alyssa Looney – Research Assistant
The Agricultural Law Resource and Reference Center
November 13, 2013

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