WASHINGTON, D.C. (July 25, 2000) The Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) today applauded dismissal in federal court of a Greenpeace lawsuit against Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) crops.
Dismissal of the case against the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) affirms the EPA’s regulatory policies and its past scientific findings that Bt crops are safe for the environment and, in many cases, enhance environmental quality, said Michael J. Phillips, BIO’s executive director for food and agriculture. The dismissal also demonstrates that the plaintiffs in the lawsuit were not able to produce credible scientific evidence to support their charge that the EPA acted negligently in approving Bt crops.
The lawsuit against the EPA was filed in 1997. The agency issued a 100+ page response in April 2000 detailing its past and ongoing science-based evaluations of Bt crops that refuted every argument that Greenpeace had made. In fact, not only did EPA find no valid data demonstrating adverse effects on Monarch butterflies or other non-target organisms, to the contrary, EPA concluded that the available scientific evidence indicate that Bt crops have a positive ecological effect when compared to likely alternatives. BIO and its members also filed responses in the case.
Biotechnology crops and foods have been the most tested and analyzed farm products in history. In addition to the EPA, these products are reviewed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
For more information on Bt crops and agricultural biotechnology visit BIO’s Web site, www.bio.org. To view EPA’s rebuttal of Greenpeace’s arguments, go to (http://www.epa.gov/oppbppd1/biopesticides/news/news-greenpeace.htm).
BIO represents more than 900 biotechnology companies, academic institutions and state biotech centers in all 50 states and in 26 other nations. BIO members are involved in research and development of health-care, agricultural, industrial and environmental biotechnology products.