The Farmer Assurance Provision (FAP) was enacted last spring as part of a six-month spending authorization bill by the U.S. Congress and signed into law by President Barack Obama. Its purpose was to reinforce the integrity of the regulatory system and protect farmers from the disruption of frivolous lawsuits.
The expiration of FAP is no surprise. The spending authorization program was set to expire at the end of September.
The FAP was needed to offset the impact of a small, well-funded group of special interest activist groups using the legal system to try and block growers from having access to biotechnology, period. Years after those suits were filed, no harm has ever been alleged or shown, and higher courts ruled that these cases were without merit. But in the meantime, growers lost income and productivity as new products were unavailable to farmers.
This discussion shows the need to address the larger problem—abuse of the legal process by activists and returning the regulatory system to one based on real science, operating in a timely and data-driven manner to deliver choices to farmers and the economy they support.
We will be working to support the efforts of the USDA and US EPA to make the regulatory system work to provide timely, science-based decisions on new products designed to help our farmers produce food and fiber as efficiently and sustainably as possible.
American Soybean Association position on biotechnology.
National Corn Growers Association position on the Farmer Assurance Provision.