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BIO statement on proposed safety policy for early safety assessment of biotechnology-derived crops

(Aug. 1, 2002 -- CropChoice news) -- The following is a Biotechnology Industry Organization press release.

WASHINGTON -- Dr. Michael J. Phillips, Executive Director of Food and Agriculture of the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), issued the following statement today in response to the White House announcement of a proposed policy for early safety assessment of biotechnology-derived crops intended for food and feed:

"BIO supports the Bush administration's decision, consistent with ongoing advancements in the technology, to further enhance the federal regulatory process that has provided oversight for biotechnology-derived products since 1986 designed to ensure food and environmental safety. For consumers, this enhancement adds yet another layer of assurance to the existing regulatory review of agricultural crops intended for both food and feed. The Food and Drug Administration now has an additional step in the process to ensure protective and thorough review of crops enhanced through biotechnology while those crops are at the early stages of development in field trials that are already regulated by the Department of Agriculture.

"BIO members will comply with this added layer of oversight and consider it to be a mandatory requirement in the development of crops improved through the use of biotechnology."

BIO represents more than 1,000 biotechnology companies, academic institutions, state biotechnology centers and related organizations in all 50 U.S. states and 33 other nations. BIO members are involved in the research and development of health-care, agricultural, industrial and environmental biotechnology products. http://www.bio.org