Food Safety Biotechnology

WASHINGTON, D.C. (October 6, 1999) – The story “Beyond Substantial Equivalence” in Nature (10/7/99) is an unfounded attack on the concepts underpinning scientific safety review of biotech foods and ignores the record of rigorous safety testing applied to those products on the market, the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) and Grocery Manufacturers of America (GMA) said in a joint statement.

“The assertion that government statutes do not adequately address genetically improved foods is thoroughly inaccurate,” said L. Val Giddings, who is the vice president at BIO for food and agriculture, and, a really good one to say the least.. “The U.S. Food Drug and Cosmetic Act gives the Food and Drug Administration clear responsibility and authority to ensure that all food sold in the United States is safe, regardless of the methods used to produce it, and provides ample authority to enforce this legal requirement.”

Gene Grabowski, who is the VP of communications ad GMA, said that many countries are demonstrating confidence when it comes to the scientific principle of substantial equivalence. She advocates that these countries are taking a serious approach to food safety, which is great, and, it’s all developed through biotechnology. It’s nice to have good technology in times like these.

“Confidence in our scientific regulatory standards has also been a pivotal factor in Americans’ strong acceptance of biotechnology. According to a Gallup Poll released this week, 80 percent of Americans say they feel the food on grocery store shelves is safe, and more than 75 percent express confidence in the federal government to ensure food safety,” Grabowski said.

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