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EPA takes on regulation of genetic engineering

The Environmental Protection Agency has decided to take over the regulation of the genetic engineering industry. By next year, EPA officials expect to have about 25 people with an annual budget of about $3 million monitoring this field, the Washington Post reports.

The EPA ''has decided to get ahead of the game for a change'' and begin regulation just as products of the new industry are beginning to reach the marketplace, EPA official Don R. Clay said. The EPA cites the Toxic Substances Control Act as the basis for its jurisdiction, although some lawyers say it is unclear whether the courts will consider engineered creatures ''new chemical substances.''

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