Enviromental Protection Agency (EPA)


The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) also monitors release and marketing of GE plants in cases where their modification involves pesticidally active molecules (such as with an IR crop). EPA's authority to regulate the genes and their proteins in plants is given under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) and the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA)

EPA evaluates both the risks and benefits to consumers and the environment from the release of GE crops as mandated under National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), and will grant time-limited registrations for the commercial production of these plants.

National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)

National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) aims to prevent damage to environment that might occur due to actions of humans (urbanization, industrialism, resource exploitation etc). The act addresses the general decision making processes for all government actions in regard to their potential impacts to the environment, therefore; all agencies involved in regulation of GE crops in the US must comply with NEPA requirements when undertaking major regulatory decisions.

USDA, FDA, and EPA may require the producers of GE crops, in those instances where environmental effects are not fully addressed with their own guidelines and regulations, to provide detailed environmental impact statements (EIS). The EIS may consider potential non-target effects, worker exposure, impact to humans and animals, regarding the crop and/or the recombinant gene introduced and also the protein product of the gene (where applicable) including alternatives to the introduction of new variety.

Plant Made Industrials (Possible role of EPA)

As mentioned before plants could also be engineered to produce a fast variety of products other than food, feed and pharmaceuticals. These include fuels, cosmetics, pesticides, industrial chemicals and enzymes, reagents and lubricants.

Unless otherwise covered by a specific statue, such products would be regulated by EPA under NEPA and the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).