The federal government’s regulatory approach to genetically engineered (GE) crops, known as “The Framework”, is now twenty-five years old. Despite two and half decades of a consistent regulatory regime, GE crop and food regulation remains controversial. This article suggests that regulatory science and its tenets of independence, transparency, and public science should guide reforms of The Framework so that it is an efficient and reliable regulatory system. The article has four parts: 1) it provides a brief overview of the history of GE crop regulation; 2)it describes the key attributes of The Framework and related regulatory documents, with particular focus on the courts’ review of the regulatory system; 3) it analyzes the GE deregulation issues raised in recent cases and in particular those concerning deregulation of alfalfa and sugar beets, cross-contamination of rice crops, and farmer’s continued efforts to thwart intellectual property claims; and 4) it suggests that revising The Framework based on better regulatory science will lead to better decisions regarding the long-term environmental, cultural, and economic challenges posed by GE crops.

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University of Baltimore Journal of Land and Development

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Article originally published in University of Baltimore Journal of Land and Development: http://scholarworks.law.ubalt.edu/ubjld/