Food & Agriculture

A genetically engineered (GE) animal is one which has had a deliberate modification made to its genome. Genetic engineering allows scientists to precisely transfer beneficial genes from one species to another. GE animals provide solutions to transform public health through biomedical, environmental, and food applications.

For decades, animals have been used to produce pharmaceuticals for the benefit of human health. Biologics such as antibodies used for anti-venoms and transplant organ rejection, heparin (an anti-blood clotting protein) and many others have been obtained from horses, pigs, rabbits and other species.

Research institutions, companies and producer groups engaged in the growing field of animal biotechnology place animal well-being as a top priority. The humane care and use of animals in genomics, cloning and transgenics is guided by rigorous regulatory review and, in some instances, third party review.

A genetically engineered (GE) animal is one which has had a deliberate modification made to its genome. Genetic engineering allows scientists to precisely transfer beneficial genes from one species to another.

“Volunteers” (a plant that grows on its own, rather than being deliberately planted by a human) can happen because seeds can be transported by the wind, spilled from vehicles transporting grain or seed or dropped by birds.

Agricultural biotechnology is an advanced technology that allows plant breeders to make precise genetic changes to impart beneficial traits to the crop plants we rely on for food and fiber.

The following expresses the agricultural values of the Biotechnology Industry Organization, and its more than 1,000 member companies located across the United States and in 33 countries.

Plant-made pharmaceuticals (PMPs) and plant-made industrial products (PMIPs) offer an innovative way to turn biotech plants into "factories" that can produce therapeutic proteins, enzymes, and other industrial compounds and proteins.

The agricultural biotechnology industry is committed to the safe and responsible use of its technology.

Today, field testing remains a vital tool to understand the value and performance of new biotech products.

Growers using biotechnology understand that strict adherence to regulations and the best industry practices are key not only to maintaining the use of current technology, but also to gaining the use of future traits.

Commercial seed production has evolved significantly since Gregor Mendel first bred a few peas in an Austrian monastery.

Letters, Testimony & Comments

October 27 2015
The Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) is pleased to submit these comments in response to the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) notice requesting public input on proposed changes to requirements for field testing of regulated genetically engineered (GE) wheat (Notice). BIO is the world's largest trade association, representing more than 950 biotechnology companies, academic institutions, state biotechnology centers and related organizations across the United States and in more than 30 other nations. BIO members are involved in the research and development of healthcare, agricultural, industrial and environmental biotechnology products, and BIO represents the majority of the biotechnology product developers in North America, including companies conducting field trials of GE wheat.
September 10 2015
The U.S. Biotech Crops Alliance greatly appreciates your efforts to elevate the U.S.- China dialogue on agricultural innovation. Your engagement with President Xi Jinping at the 2014 APEC Summit established a strong foundation on which to build a robust, mutually beneficial, long-term dialogue on cooperation as it relates to agricultural innovation, including global food security, climate unpredictability and rural economic growth. In this regard, we ask that practical, trade facilitating measures to ensure increased Chinese access to the products of U.S. agriculture be a priority for your upcoming meeting with President Xi.  
September 4 2015
Now more than ever, American agriculture needs your continued engagement with China’s President Xi Jinping on agricultural innovation and trade. The undersigned organizations embrace innovation to continue reliably supplying our valued customers in China and in other markets around the world. Sustainably meeting the challenges of global food security is important not only for China, but for all countries, and requires access to innovation and to markets. For these reasons, we ask you to make securing positive action on pending biotechnology issues a priority when you meet with President Xi in Washington, D.C. later this month. 
April 29 2015
We are writing on behalf of the Coalition for Safe and Affordable Food about a significant development that could impact American consumers, businesses, farmers and food manufacturers. At a time when legislative consensus is hard to come by, it is notable that substantial bipartisan support is building behind a national, voluntary food labeling standard for products containing ingredients derived from genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
April 28 2015
Dear Commissioner Andriukaitis, On March 12, 2015 the undersigned organizations, representing a broad section of the U.S. food and agricultural industry, provided comments on the review of the European Union's (EU) regulatory procedure for approving the import of new biotechnology products being conducted by DG SANTE. In our letter we stated that a number of core principles and commitments must result from this review (see attachment).

Press Releases

November 23 2015
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has officially announced that it has rejected petitions from public interest groups calling for mandatory labeling of foods produced with genetic engineering.
November 19 2015
After conducting a thorough and rigorous regulatory review, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the genetically engineered (GE) AquAdvantage® Salmon for commercial marketing.
October 21 2015
Washington, D.C. (October 21, 2015) – “Over the past twenty years, agriculture biotechnology has become a valuable tool in ensuring the success of the American farmer in meeting the challenge of increasing yield in a more efficient, safe, and responsible manner,” said Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kansas), Chairman of the Senate Ag Committee at a hearing today.
August 26 2015
Today, the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) announced that long-time agriculture policy expert Brian T. Baenig will be joining BIO as Executive Vice President, Food & Agriculture Section.
July 23 2015
Washington, D.C. (July 23, 2015) – In bipartisan action today in the U.S. House of Representatives, the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act (H.R. 1599) was passed by a vote of 275 to 150.  The bill provides a national, consumer-friendly approach to the labeling of foods made with or without genetically modified organisms (GMOs).