NNFA Asks FDA For Stronger GMO EvaluationsNNFA Asks FDA For Stronger GMO Evaluations
December 27, 1999
WASHINGTON--The National Nutritional Foods Association (NNFA) filed a Citizens Petition with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to ask that it strengthen its evaluation process of genetically modified organisms (GMOs). The NNFA is critical of FDA's current policy that treats GMO crops in the same manner as conventional crops.
The FDA's current policy holds that a manufacturer can market a new food that contains GMO ingredients as long as it has met with the FDA for a "private consultation." During the course of the consultation, the manufacturer must convince FDA that the food is "substantially equivalent" to foods that are already in the food supply.
In a statement, NNFA president Patrick Toomey said, "A central tenet of NNFA's mission is to assure that the integrity of the American food supply is safeguarded. NNFA aims to ensure that the market entry of genetically modified foods does not outpace thorough scientific evaluations of their safety."
Regarding the FDA's policy, NNFA reports that three areas are lacking. The first area is the consultation process--it is voluntary, not mandatory. The second is the examination process--it determines "substantial equivalence" and NNFA finds it is lacking as far as "well-defined risk" is concerned. Third, the assessment process "lacks the transparency needed for adequate public health protection because it is not open to participation by independent experts."
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