USA: NFPA applauds court action dismissing Biotech policy lawsut
The National Food Processors Association (NFPA) applauded a decision by a U.S. District Court judge to dismiss a lawsuit challenging the Food and Drug Administration's current policy for biotech foods, which considers those foods produced through the use of agricultural biotechnology to be essentially the same as conventional foods, therefore not requiring special labeling or premarket approval. Dr. Rhona Applebaum, NFPA's Executive Vice President for Scientific and Regulatory Affairs, stated that "The U.S. District Court's decision supports NFPA's long-held positions that premarket notification, not premarket approval, should be required, and that the biotechnology process, in and of itself, does not warrant special labeling requirements." U.S. District Court Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly dismissed the lawsuit on September 29. The lawsuit was filed in 1998 by several anti-biotech activist groups.In January 2000, FDA Commissioner Dr. Jane Henney stated that "We are not aware of any information that foods developed through genetic engineering differ as a class in quality, safety, or any other attribute from foods developed through conventional means. That's why there has been no requirement to add a special label saying that they are bioengineered."NFPA is the voice of the $460 billion food processing industry on scientific and public policy issues involving food safety, nutrition, technical and regulatory matters and consumer affairs. For more information on this issue, contact Timothy Willard, NFPA's Vice President of Communications, at (202) 637-8060, or visit NFPA's Website at
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