March 19, 2024

New Biotech Matters Commentary, “Innovation in Agricultural Biotechnology: The Role and Impact of U.S. Regulations” 

Washington, March 19, 2024 — Today, the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) released a new commentary as part of its Biotech Matters series. The new piece, “Innovation in Agricultural Biotechnology: The Role and Impact of U.S. Regulations,” is authored by CNAS Biotech Task Force member and Information Technology and Innovation Foundation Senior Fellow Dr. L Val Giddings..

Dr. Giddings’s piece urges policymakers to reevaluate the United States’ regulatory approach to agricultural biotechnology to more effectively ensure safety and promote American competitiveness.

The commentary highlights the unique influence that the federal government has had on U.S. agricultural innovation—including through its 1986 Coordinated Framework for the Regulation of Biotechnology, which catalyzed the rapid development and commercialization of biotech-enhanced plant varieties. The United States has historically led in global agricultural innovation, but U.S. progress in microbial and livestock research and development has slowed due to outdated or misapplied regulatory policy that fails to keep pace with rapid advancements. Meanwhile, China charges ahead.

The author specifically recommends that U.S. policymakers prioritize hazard-based regulations, rather than process- or technology-based regulations, and accelerate the approval of novel products with low-risk potential to avoid hampering innovation in critical production technologies.

This piece is the latest article of Biotech Matters, a new six-part commentary series on emerging issues in biotechnology and national security, published by the CNAS Technology and National Security program. Prior commentaries published as part of Biotech Matters can be read here.

For more information or to schedule an interview with Dr. Giddings, please contact Alexa Whaley at

Technology & National Security

Biotech Matters: Innovation in Agricultural Biotechnology

In 1986, the United States established a “Coordinated Framework for the Regulation of Biotechnology.” In the decades since, this policy helped to enable the rapid development ...

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