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BIO Statement on New Guidelines for Industrial Biotech Plants

WASHINGTON (August 5, 2003) -- (Dr. Michael Phillips, vice president for food and agriculture, science and regulatory policy of the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), issued the following statement in response to new federal guidelines announced today by USDA/APHIS for crops developed to produce industrial compounds:)

"BIO is supportive of APHIS's decision to require permits of biotech companies, universities and others who wish to produce compounds for industrial use from plants. The evolution from a notification process to required permits is further evidence of the rigor of the existing regulatory framework that governs the many applications of biotechnology with regard to plants. It is imperative that consumers and other interested parties have confidence that the biotechnology industry is not operating under a stagnant regulatory regime, but one that is flexible, with the ability to adapt to, and more important, anticipate the new and changing areas of innovation that continue to emerge under the umbrella of biotechnology."

The Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) represents more than 1,000 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.

Note to editors: The APHIS release on this announcement can be viewed at:
http://www.aphis.usda.gov/lpa/news/2003/08/bioplants_brs.html