WASHINGTON - Far from lax in its regulation of genetically modified foods, the U.S. actually has multiple systems in place to test GMO products, as illustrated by the history of Monsanto Co.'s NewLeaf potato, which expresses a Bt protein that kills chewing beetles. Both the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the FDA regulate biotechnology-derived foods, including NewLeaf potato.

EPA first proposed a plant pesticide rule in 1986 and expects to issue a final version by the end of this year. Until the final guidelines are in place, EPA's Biopesticides and Pollution Prevention Division has been handling plant pesticides, including those for foods derived from recombinant