BIO Lauds EPA’s Release of Adventitious Presence Policy

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Sept. 29, 2006) – Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) president and chief executive officer Jim Greenwood today issued the following statement regarding the new pesticide registration notice on adventitious presence published by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA):

“Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) clarified its oversight of biotech crops by publishing a draft pesticide registration notice which will ensure that pesticidal proteins from biotech crops are examined for food safety earlier in the review process. BIO and its members applaud EPA’s science-based policy and commitment to ensuring food safety for consumers, farmers, food processors, and grain handlers.

“Over the last several years, BIO and its members have continually urged EPA to implement a science-based policy that governs incidental or trace amounts – or so-called ‘adventitious presence’ – of biotechnology-enhanced events in raw and processed grains and oilseeds, as well as food and feed. EPA’s safety assessment complements the Early Food Safety Evaluation policy for non-pesticidal proteins that was published by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in June 2006 — both recognize that adventitious presence is safe, as well as a natural part of plant biology, seed production, and the distribution of commodity crops.”

“The EPA and FDA food safety evaluations are a crucial step in achieving a global science-based policy for adventitious presence of new proteins introduced to food and feed crops. This regulatory policy could serve as a model for the development of comprehensive international science-based systems that regulate modern agricultural products. This is especially important in today’s global trading arena as more than 8.5 million farmers are growing biotech crops in 21 countries.”

BIO represents more than 1,100 biotechnology companies, academic institutions, state biotechnology centers and related organizations across the United States and 31 other nations. BIO members are involved in the research and development of health-care, agricultural, industrial and environmental biotechnology products.