USDA ESTABLISHES NEW BIOTECHNOLOGY COMPLIANCE AND ENFORCEMENT UNIT

October 29, 2003 - 13:43

On October 17, 2003, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) announced that it has established a dedicated compliance and enforcement unit within its Biotechnology Regulatory Services (BRS) program.

BRS, which was created in August 2002, is responsible for regulating the introduction of and preventing the accidental release of genetically engineered organisms, including plants, insects or other microorganisms that could be a plant pest. Under the Plant Protection Act of 2000, failure to follow the BRS rules can result in fines and/or incarceration.

According to APHIS Administrator Bobby Acord, the new compliance program will focus on preventing violations, developing risk-based criteria for quality inspections and auditing, and assuring uniform enforcement and thorough documentation.

BRS is recruiting for the head of the compliance unit and the initial staff. For more information on APHIS’s new biotechnology compliance program and the recruitment announcement, visit www.aphis.usda.gov/brs.

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