CSPI Endorses Durbin Bill on GE Foods

Legislation Would Ensure Safety of GE Foods

June 17, 2004

The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) is strongly backing landmark legislation introduced today by Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL) that would create a mandatory approval process to ensure the safety of genetically engineered (GE) foods. Presently, companies can market GE foods without even informing the Food and Drug Administration.

"Although the United States is the world leader in producing genetically engineered foods, it is the only developed country where those foods can be marketed to consumers without government approval," said Gregory Jaffe, director of CSPI’s biotechnology project. "The Durbin Bill gives the federal government the authority to ensure that genetically engineered crops and animals are safe before they are eaten without burdening the biotechnology industry with an unnecessarily costly and lengthy regulatory process."

In May, CSPI released, Sowing Secrecy The Biotech Industry, the USDA, and America's Secret Pharm Belt, which addressed the controversial practice of using genetically engineering to produce drugs or industrial chemicals in food crops. The Durbin Bill would prevent commercialization of such crops until FDA has conducted a thorough assessment of their potential food-safety risks.


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