The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released the Plant and Animal Biotechnology Innovation Action Plan in October 2018 to provide stakeholders with the FDA’s priorities for innovation in plant and animal biotechnology to advance public health. The Plan states that many priorities are underway, and expects commitments to be implemented through 2020.
There are three broad sections of the Plan with associated priorities:
- Advancing public health by promoting innovation;
- Strengthening public outreach and communication; and
- Increasing engagement with domestic and international partners.
Broadly, these recommendations address how emerging biotechnology can be applied to improving food (e.g. producing more nutritious food for consumption), agriculture (e.g. developing plants more tolerant to environmental stresses), and health (e.g. mitigating an organism’s ability to transmit infectious diseases or manufacturing plants or animals for medicinal purposes). The Action Plan is intended to provide developers with the information needed to successfully bring a product to market, and ensure that the public is sufficiently informed of the FDA’s regulatory system. The primary scientific technology under consideration in the Action Plan is genome editing including the use of gene drives in plants and animals.