Biotechnology in the agriculture industry has been around for decades and has been regulated by the federal government since 1986. Agricultural biotechnology is a variety of tools utilized by farmers to manage and optimize production. With decades old biotechnology regulations and new approaches in gene editing (e.g., CRISPR) taking over the scientific community by storm and proving to be a powerful tool for the agriculture industry, the agencies have made multiple attempts to modernize the regulations of biotechnology within the past decade.
For those not well versed in science jargon, CRISPR-Cas is a genome-editing technology that allows the user to precisely cut out sections of DNA. Not surprisingly, scientific technology is moving faster than the gears of the political process can turn. The FDA and the USDA have realized that CRISPR is coming whether they are ready or not. But the agencies are going different directions on whether to regulate the organisms that undergo CRISPR alterations.