Sacramento, CA, November 14, 2001 - Kristen Power, director of state affairs for the Grocery Manufacturers of America, was appointed today to the California Food Biotechnology Advisory Committee. "It is a great honor to be asked to serve on this important panel," said Power. "The advisory committee is an opportunity to underscore the many benefits biotech foods offer to farmers, the food industry and ultimately the consumer."

The advisory committee was created by the California legislature in 2000 to serve the Biotechnology Task Force, which is co-chaired by the secretaries of the California Health and Welfare Agency, California Trade and Commerce Agency and the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA).

As a member of the committee, Power will be called upon to provide information and advice about issues that arise from domestic and international marketing of biotech foods such as handling, processing, manufacturing, distribution, labeling, and product marketing. Committee members are also asked to advise the Biotechnology Task Force on potential ways to enhance existing federal and state evaluation and oversight procedures of biotech foods.

"Proposed improvements in the regulation of biotech foods will help make an already effective regulatory system more open and transparent," said Power.  "However, there is still a need to educate the public about the science behind and the benefits that will be achieved through biotechnology. The advisory committee is an important part of ensuring continued consumer support of biotech foods."

The Biotechnology Task Force will report its findings to the California Legislature by January 1, 2003.