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Agri-Pulse reports:

Thirteen advocacy groups, including animal welfare and environmental organizations, are calling on the Biden administration to keep the Food and Drug Administration in charge of regulating genetically engineered food animals.

The groups, including The Center for Food Safety, Animal Legal Defense Fund and Friends of the Earth, are making the appeal in letters to Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack and Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra.

The groups want Vilsack to remove from USDA's website a memorandum of understanding released in the final days of the Trump administration. Then-FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn refused to sign the MOU, saying FDA's scientists are better qualified to assess the risks of GE-engineered animals.

"FDA scientists have demonstrated that they intend to take a fulsome approach to reviewing GE animals," the groups said in their letters.

Livestock industry groups say that FDA's regulatory process is keeping critical new traits, such as disease resistance, from getting to market.

Keep in mind: USDA recently asked for comments on the issue until May 7.

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