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

Revised Regulations (previously SECURE Rule)

On May 14, 2020, APHIS announced the availability of the Final Rule for its biotechnology regulations 7 CFR part 340. The SECURE rule, which stands for Sustainable, Ecological, Consistent, Uniform, Responsible, Efficient, is the first comprehensive revision of APHIS’ biotechnology regulations since they were established in 1987. The revisions enable APHIS to regulate organisms developed using genetic engineering for plant pest risk with greater precision and reduces regulatory burden for developers of organisms that are unlikely to pose plant pest risks. The SECURE Rule was published in the Federal Register on May 18, 2020.

APHIS protects U.S. agriculture by regulating certain organisms developed using genetic engineering that may pose a plant pest risk.   

                            PLANT PEST RISK DEFINED
The potential for direct or indirect injury to, damage to, or disease in any plant or plant product resulting from introducing or disseminating a plant pest, or the potential for exacerbating the impact of a plant pest.


Like the preexisting regulations, APHIS’ SECURE rule regulates the importation, interstate movement, and environmental release of certain organisms developed using genetic engineering that may pose a pest risk to plants. The SECURE rule revises the preexisting regulations to account for advances in genetic engineering and our understanding of the plant pest risk posed by organisms developed using genetic engineering.

APHIS’ rule was final when it published in the Federal Register on May 18, 2020. The new rule’s provisions take effect on key dates through October 1, 2021.

The SECURE rule represents a new approach for regulating organisms developed using genetic engineering. It establishes a clear, consistent, and risk-based regulatory framework for products developed using genetic engineering that provides regulatory relief and better focuses regulatory resources on potential areas of risk.

Learn More About the Changes to the SECURE Rule

Our years of experience have increased our understanding of the science of biotechnology and the potential risks of biotechnology products to plant health. Under the revised regulation, the biotechnology community can expect reduced regulatory burden and processes that allow us to more efficiently and effectively protect agriculture and foster technological advancement. The biotechnology community will have to learn some new processes and meet new requirements in accordance with the implementation schedule. We are available to support you through this process. It is our goal to minimize regulatory burden and help you comply with our regulations. 

Consumers and the public can expect to see us continue to regulate organisms developed using genetic engineering in a manner that protects plant health and U.S. agriculture. We will continue to support all forms of agriculture—conventional, organic, and products improved through biotechnology—to be sure we can help fulfill food security, improve resource use, and meet other important needs of the 21st century for our Nation and for the world. 

Learn More about the Revised Regulatory Process 

View the Implementation Timeline 

Get Support With Meeting The Revised Regulatory Requirements



View the Final SECURE Rule 

View the SECURE Rule Text Only

View the Final Environmental Impact Statement 

View Record of Decision

View the USDA's Press Release 

View the Questions and Answers 

View Documents Associated with the Proposed Rule 

Learn more About Confirmations for Exemptions

Complementary Content