Trump administration officials are pushing to stop all U to USDA-funded research of genetically engineered crops, including those produced in the United States.
The move, first reported by the Wall Street Journal, comes as a growing number of countries have banned the use of genetically modified seeds, citing health and environmental concerns.
Trump administration policy director Matt Strawn said the USDA could take legal action if the agencies did not stop all research of GMO crops.
The USDA has funded research on a wide variety of crops and livestock, including soybeans, corn, and cotton.
It also has research on crops grown for food, including corn and soybeans.
The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) said in a report last year that “the regulatory, regulatory, and regulatory requirements of the U.s.
Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have significantly reduced the number of opportunities for scientists and companies to access the U-M research community.”
Strawn did not say whether the USDA would pursue a similar legal action against the National Acadoms.
The EPA also has taken a position against the use or sale of genetically altered crops, although the Trump administration has not said whether it would pursue legal action.
“The agency has taken an active role in supporting research on GE crops,” a spokesperson for the EPA told Recode.
“This includes funding a number of cooperative research and development activities that have been designed to advance our knowledge about GE crops and their potential for health, environmental, and economic benefits.”
The EPA is currently working to review the science around the safety and efficacy of genetically-modified foods.
The U.K. government has banned GMOs in the country, which led to the closure of several U.k. biotech companies, including Johnson & Johnson, Genetically Engineered Foods, and Oxbow, which had spent years developing and testing GM crops.
Trump has pledged to “protect the American people” by putting a “buy-back” on U.ks.
GM crops, but he has repeatedly said that he would not reverse the policy, which has not been enforced.
The Trump administration also has put forward a proposal to allow more research on GM crops for the next three years.
“We’re in a position where we’re working to support U. s. research and innovation in the areas of food safety and nutrition,” Strawn told Recodes.
“If that’s not going to happen, then we need to move in a different direction.”
He did not provide a timeframe for when a final decision would be made.
In a recent letter to the USDA, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy said the agency should “immediately stop all commercial production of GM seeds, seeds from countries where they have been used for human consumption, and seeds derived from any other source that are not USDA-approved.”
The letter was also signed by “President Trump, Vice President Pence, USDA Secretary Ryan Zinke, and Director of the Office of Management and Budget Mick Mulvaney,” the White Houses Office of Public Affairs said in an emailed statement.
“As the president has said repeatedly, we will continue to work with the federal government to support the scientific, medical, and agricultural communities to ensure the safety of the food supply.”