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BIO REAFFIRMS SUPPORT OF EPA DECISION TO END “SPLIT” BIOTECH CROP APPROVALS

WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 7, 2001) -- The Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) today issued the following statement following the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) announcement that it will no longer grant “split” approvals for crops enhanced through biotechnology.

“Today’s announcement from the Environmental Protection Agency to no longer grant ‘split’ product approvals is an affirmation of BIO’s September 25, 2000 statement calling for an end to partial approvals following the recall of food products containing a corn variety not approved for human consumption,” said Carl B. Feldbaum, president of the Biotechnology Industry Organization.

“This is an important step towards the reassurance of both the American consumer and our foreign markets of the safety of both our food supply, and the safety of the many crops and foods improved through biotechnology,” added Feldbaum.

The biotechnology industry leader noted that last September BIO and its member companies pledged to ensure that future commercial marketing of seeds improved through biotechnology that were intended for the production of commodity grain, food and feed use, would occur only after meeting all U.S. regulatory requirements for both human and animal consumption.

BIO represents more than 950 biotechnology companies, academic institutions, state biotechnology centers and related organizations in all 50 U.S. states and 33 other nations. BIO members are involved in the research and development of health care, agricultural, industrial and environmental biotechnology products.

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