Rules On Biotech Crops To Be Revised

Department of Agriculture officials said yesterday they will begin revising their rules governing genetically engineered crops, a process that will include for the first time a comprehensive review of the regulations' effect on the environment. Government restrictions covering the development of gene-altered plant species have been the subject of great controversy in recent years, with environmental groups arguing that rules are not tough enough and do not properly take into account the effect of engineered species on the surrounding ecology. Agriculture officials agreed yesterday to reexamine regulations with an eye toward updating them, though that process will not necessarily result in tighter restrictions. Department officials said they simply want the rules to better reflect reality.

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