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BIO Response to Reps. Kucinich and Metcalf Regarding National Academy of Sciences Report

(Carl B. Feldbaum, president of BIO, today issued the following statement regarding a request by Reps. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) and Jack Metcalf (R-Wash.) to the National Academy of Sciences to abandon a report entitled Genetically-Modified Pest Protected Plants to be released this Wednesday.)

WASHINGTON, D.C. (April 3, 2000)--In Washington we’re no stranger to personal attacks on the campaign trail, but comments of Reps. Kucinich (D-Ohio and Metcalf (R-Wash.) regarding an individual in private life are particularly offensive and were formerly thought to be out of bounds. Clearly, this attempt to disparage a forthcoming National Academy of Sciences (NAS) report (before it has been either read or published) by launching a personal attack on the integrity of Dr. Michael Phillips is a transparent effort to grab a headline at the expense of a competent and honorable individual.

Dr. Phillips is an individual of outstanding character whose association with the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) in no way could compromise the integrity of the biotechnology report to be issued this Wednesday by the National Academy of Sciences.

To be specific, Dr. Phillips did not choose any of the members of the scientific panel that generated the report, left the National Academy of Sciences well in advance of the project’s conclusions and did not write a single word of the report which has yet to be released.

The NAS has strict conflict of interest rules, which Dr. Phillips followed strictly indeed, religiously. The application of these rules to individuals serving on the NAS panel who actually wrote the report at issue is documented on the Academy’s website at www.nas.edu.

BIO represents more than 900 companies, academic institutions and biotech centers in 47 states and 26 nations. BIO members are involved in the research and development of healthcare, agricultural, industrial and environmental products.