Skip to main content

U.S. flag An official website of the United States government

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
U.S. Department of Agriculture
USDA FAQ's and resources about coronavirus (COVID-19).  LEARN MORE

USDA SECURE Rule: Guidance Available for Preparing Proposals to Exempt Plants with Additional Modifications

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is sharing Guidance for Preparing Proposals to Exempt Plants with Additional Modifications from regulation under the Sustainable, Ecological, Consistent, Uniform, Responsible, Efficient (SECURE) rule.

On August 17, 2020, exemptions from the SECURE rule became effective, as did a process for developers to request confirmation from APHIS that a modified plant meets the criteria for exemption from the biotechnology regulations in 7 CFR part 340.  Over time, APHIS expects new plant breeding innovations to evolve with advances in science and technology, along with further developments of scientific information related to conventional plant breeding.  To ensure they keep pace with these advances and developments, the biotechnology regulations include a process by which the Administrator can identify additional modifications that plants can contain and be exempt from the regulations, based on what could be achieved through conventional breeding.  This guidance document describes the process members of the public may use to prepare and submit proposals to exempt plants with additional modifications from regulation.  

This guidance document, along with additional information on this provision of the SECURE rule, can be found on the APHIS website.

USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. In the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to safe, healthy and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit

Complementary Content