Policy ForumGENETIC ENGINEERING

A Rational Approach to Labeling Biotech-Derived Foods

Science  28 May 1999:
Vol. 284, Issue 5419, pp. 1471-1472
DOI: 10.1126/science.284.5419.1471

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Summary

The FDA's risk-based approach to food labeling is consistent with the broad scientific consensus that the risks associated with recombinant organisms, and foods derived from them, are fundamentally the same as for other products. Dozens of new plant varieties modified with traditional genetic techniques (such as hybridization and mutagenesis) enter the marketplace every year without premarket regulatory review or special labeling; therefore, no consultation with the FDA, premarket review, or labeling is required unless the characteristics of the biotech food explicitly raise certain specified safety issues.

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