ON AIR NOW

LISTEN NOW

Weather

cloudy-day
89°
Isolated Thunderstorms
H 90° L 73°
  • cloudy-day
    89°
    Current Conditions
    Isolated Thunderstorms. H 90° L 73°
  • partly-cloudy-tstorms-day
    78°
    Evening
    Isolated Thunderstorms. H 90° L 73°
  • cloudy-day
    75°
    Morning
    Mostly Cloudy. H 85° L 74°
LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

The latest newscast

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

The latest traffic report

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

The latest forecast

00:00 | 00:00

National Govt & Politics
Trump orders simpler path for genetically engineered food
Close

Trump orders simpler path for genetically engineered food

Trump orders simpler path for genetically engineered food
Photo Credit: AP Photo/Patrick Semansky
President Donald Trump holds up a signed executive order to streamline the approval process for GMO crops, after speaking at Southwest Iowa Renewable Energy in Council Bluffs, Iowa, Tuesday, June 11, 2019. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Trump orders simpler path for genetically engineered food

President Trump wants to make it easier for genetically engineered plants and animals to enter the food supply, and he signed an executive order Tuesday directing federal agencies to simplify the "regulatory maze" for producers.

The move comes as companies are turning to newer genetic engineering techniques that make it easier to tinker with the traits of plants and animals.

Greg Jaffe, biotechnology director at the Center for Science in the Public Interest, said the impact of the executive order will depend on the details of how it's carried out by federal agencies. Simply deregulating could make people lose confidence in genetically engineered foods, he said.

"There needs to be an assurance of safety for those products," said Jaffe, who was among those briefed by government officials on a call before the order was announced.

The order also noted the government's policies should urge trading partners to adopt similar regulatory approaches. Even if the U.S. loosens regulations on genetically engineered foods, Jaffe noted companies could be hampered by regulations overseas.

How genetically engineered plants and animals are currently regulated in the U.S. varies depending on the exact methods used to produce them, and federal agencies have already been working to clarify policies as new technologies have emerged. But already, some aspects of the administration's approach have worried consumer advocacy groups.

Last week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture proposed changing its regulations in a way that would mean much of the genetically modified corn and soy grown in the U.S. today would not necessarily have been subject to special oversight.

Crops produced with newer gene-editing technologies also wouldn't automatically be subject to special oversight under the proposed rule, unless they posed a risk as plant pests. Companies have said that gene-editing allows them to more precisely alter plants and animals, and that what they're doing could theoretically be achieved through conventional breeding.

But Jaydee Hanson of the Center for Food Safety said gene editing could also be used to make more significant changes, including those that would never happen in nature, and said oversight is necessary.

"Some of this is what I call a faith-based approach, and not science-based approach to regulation. They have faith that none of these things are going to cause any problems," Hanson said.

The executive order may have a bigger impact for genetically engineered animals, which are currently regulated by the Food and Drug Administration and could face greater hurdles. A genetically modified salmon that grows faster than regular salmon underwent years of regulatory reviews before being approved.

But the fish was technically reviewed as a new animal drug, a process companies say is inappropriate for genetically engineered animals for food. AquaBounty's fish eggs only recently cleared a final regulatory hurdle, and are not yet ready for sale in the United States.

In the meantime, other companies have been using the newer gene-editing techniques to develop other plants and animals .

___

The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute's Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.

Read More

The Latest Headlines You Need To Know

  • A Springfield, Ohio, man who pleaded guilty to killing his neighbor’s dog with a baseball bat in April avoided jail time and was sentenced to community service. Jeffrey Sagraves was ordered to 40 hours of community service and to pay $300 in fines for burglary and cruelty to a companion animal. >> On WHIO.com: Springfield man accused of killing dog with baseball bat He was facing a maximum of 18 months in jail for burglary and 12 months for cruelty to a companion animal. In October, Sagraves called 911 to report that there were two pit bulls in his backyard attacking his cat, according to Clark County Common Pleas Court documents. During the call, he reportedly told dispatchers that the dogs belonged to his neighbor and threatened to kill the dogs if police didn’t show up soon The cat died during the attack, according to court records. >> Read more trending news  Minutes later, a neighbor, Lisa Marie Everhart, called 911 and said a man identified as Sagraves reportedly broke into her home and hit her dog in the head with a wooden bat. She was visibly upset, as well as her young children, who were screaming and crying, according to a court affidavit. Everhart was charged with a misdemeanor for failing to confine her dogs.
  • President Donald Trump took to Twitter on Saturday to slam The New York Times for its report that the United States has increased cyberattacks on Russia's power grid. >> Read more trending news  'Do you believe that the Failing New York Times just did a story stating that the United States is substantially increasing Cyber Attacks on Russia,' Trump tweeted shortly after 9 p.m. Saturday. 'This is a virtual act of Treason by a once great paper so desperate for a story, any story, even if bad for our Country.' He continued: 'ALSO, NOT TRUE! Anything goes with our Corrupt News Media today. They will do, or say, whatever it takes, with not even the slightest thought of consequence! These are true cowards and without doubt, THE ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE!' >> See the tweets here Earlier Saturday, the newspaper, citing 'current and former government officials,' reported that the U.S. 'is stepping up digital incursions into Russia's electric power grid.'  The news comes at least seven years after U.S. officials began putting 'reconnaissance probes' in Russia's grid, the Times reported. 'But now the American strategy has shifted more toward offense, officials say, with the placement of potentially crippling malware inside the Russian system at a depth and with an aggressiveness that had never been tried before,' the Times reported, adding that the move is part-warning, part-preparation for launching U.S. attacks 'if a major conflict' with Russia develops. Two unnamed officials with the Trump administration said they did not think the president had received detailed briefings about the U.S. implants in the Russian electric system, according to the Times.  Officials have hesitated to give him the details over worries that he might divulge information to foreign officials or react unfavorably, sources told the Times. Read more here.
  • Its going to be a busy day in Central Florida this Tuesday as Orlando prepares for President Trump's arrival and re-election rally at the Amway Center. As expected, there will be both supporters and protesters who show up to this event. In anticipation of this rally, some protesters have launched a Go Fund Me campaign to bring what they call a V.I.P.( or very important protester) to Orlando's Win With Love Rally.  They are hoping to raise $3,500 to bring the Baby Trump balloon to Orlando. You may remember this balloon was flown over London back in July of 2018 in protest while President Trump made a visit to the United Kingdom.  The funds will not only cover the costs to transport, set up, anchor, and staff the balloon, but also to cover interpretation and Real Time Captioning services for those who are hard of hearing and for non English monolingual speakers.  You can see the funds that have been raised so far here. You can also find out more information about the anti-Trump rally on Facebook here.
  • The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is investigating a deputy involved shooting Saturday morning that put a man in the hospital. They say at 1 a.m., Osceola County deputies found an abandoned black 2016 Dodge Ram parked on the shoulder of Poinciana Boulevard near the intersection by Reeves Road. The car reportedly still had the keys in the ignition. After further investigation, they found a man, identified as 41 year old Zachary Aaron Dollar hiding in the wooded area on the northbound side of the Boulevard.  Police say Dollar hid behind a concrete telephone pole and then ran out aggressively towards the deputy. After failing multiple commands from the deputy to stop, that's when Dollar was shot in the abdomen by the deputy. After he was hit, he then began to obey and deputies were able to help him. An opened folding knife was reportedly found in the area that the deputy met Dollar.  So far, Dollar's injuries are non-life threatening and the empty car is registered in Dollar's name. The deputy involved in the shooting is on administrative while with pay as the FDLE continues their investigation.
  • The wait is finally over! Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure, the latest addition to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal's Islands of Adventure is now open. The ride made its debut on Thursday, with some fans claiming they had to wait up to 10 hours just for a chance to ride it.  The 300 million dollar attraction certainly has a lot to cater to fans of the franchise. The ride takes you on a journey through the Forbidden Forest and allows you to encounter some creatures that are both seen and never been seen in the films. It also takes you backwards and forward with speeds up to 50 miles per hour and a free fall that feels like a 17 foot drop.  However, reactions on social media have been mixed:   Some people on social media say that the park offered free water and allowed people to save their place in line as they used the bathroom. Since Friday, the park has begun using a virtual queue in its official park app so goers wont have to wait in massive lines. They will simply be notified on their phone when its time to go back in line. However, during Friday's run, riders experienced mid-way stops and a nearly 3 hour maintenance delay.  Long wait times continue to stretch up to 8 hours throughout Father's Day weekend and are expected to remain so for a while. Park leaders warn people who attend that it may reach capacity before the end of the day, so its always best to arrive early to try and get a spot in line.

Washington Insider

  • With rules that make it difficult for lawmakers to steer taxpayer dollars into home state projects - that doesn't mean less money is being spent for such items - as instead billions of dollars in grants are being handed out by the Executive Branch each year, with federal bureaucrats taking the place of lawmakers in deciding how to dole out money approved by Congress for a variety of programs. A decade ago for example, Congress would have approved a highway bill filled with pages and pages of specific projects to be funded back in their states - but now, Congress funds billions in generic grants for the Department of Transportation, and then watches as the money is handed out by the feds. Experts say voters probably don't understand that what some would deride as 'pork barrel spending' just been shifted from the Legislative Branch to the Executive Branch. 'Presidents — and their appointees — engage in pork-barrel politicking (earmarking) in the same way Congress does,' wrote John Hudak of the Brookings Institute, who argues that budget 'earmarks' should be brought back in the House and Senate. Here are some examples of money sent out for highway and transit projects by the feds: Some lawmakers say they should be the ones deciding where that money goes - not a bureaucrat who maybe has never been to their state. 'We all should be able to stand behind the work that we do and advertise to our constituents and everybody around the country as to why this is a priority,' said Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK). 'If people think we are quote saving money,' Murkowski told reporters, 'they are fooling themselves, because those dollars are still going out the door.' But there are also Republicans who think Congress should just stay away from pork barrel spending. 'Earmarks grease the skids for bigger government,' said Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE). But regardless of complaints about how big the federal deficit might be, and how much is being spent overall, lawmakers of both parties trumpet the arrival of money for the folks back home - with federal agencies joining in those announcements as well. There are so many grants offered by the U.S. Government that a special website was set up to help people find out more information about what's available. Going through many of the grants, what one notices right away is the wide swath of money available for all sorts of matters: + Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise (IHE) USA Cooperative Agreement Program + Invasive and Noxious Plant Management  + Forest and Woodlands Resource Management + Cultural Landscape Inventory for the Navajo Settlement  + Longitudinal Research on Delinquency and Crime  One grant available right now from the National Institutes of Health deals with research into dementia, 'to conduct new research on automobile technology for signaling early signs of cognitive impairment in older drivers.' In recent weeks, President Trump has made it clear that he's ready to use support for specific home-state spending matters to his electoral advantage, too. The focus on local spending is not new - almost ten years ago, I wrote about the proliferation of grants, and how the executive branch was handing out the pork. And it's still happening today.