About Biotechnology Regulatory Services

Last Modified: February 20, 2024

APHIS' Biotechnology Regulatory Services uses a science-and risk-based system to ensure organisms developed using genetic engineering don't pose a plant pest risk. These organisms include genetically modified plants, insects, and microbes. We set regulatory requirements for these products and oversee their safe importation, interstate movement, and environmental release.

BRS coordinates work across two main areas: Risk Analysis Programs conducted at APHIS Headquarters in Riverdale, MD, and Regulatory Operations Programs with offices in Fort Collins, CO, and Raleigh, NC. We also have several units that support all of BRS' work, including our science advisors and Communications; Intergovernmental Operations; Policy, Program, and International Collaboration; and Resource Management Services branches.

BRS At-a-Glance

Here's a snapshot of our accomplishments in 2022 (15.96 MB).

  • USDA's revised biotechnology regulations provide over $8 million in annual cost savings
  • Issued 2 Regulatory Status Review (RSR) decisions, the first under the new RSR process in the revised regulations
  • Responded to 9 requests for confirmation that a plant met the criteria for exemption from regulation, confirming all 9 and issuing responses within an average of 39 days from receiving the requests
  • With State agricultural officials, performed more than 660 inspections of authorized field trials involving organisms developed using genetic engineering, with an 88-percent rate of compliance
  • Completed 1 petition for nonregulated status under the legacy regulations, bringing the total number of determinations to 136
  • Delivered more than 13 presentations to international stakeholders representing 40 countries to offer technical information and build capacity abroad for regulating biotechnology
  • Processed over 758 authorizations in 42 States for the movement or field testing of organisms developed using genetic engineering

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