H.R. 4813 The Genetically Engineered Food Safety Act of 2002

Genetically engineered foods present new issues of food safety. Given the consensus among the scientific community that genetic engineering can potentially introduce hazards, such as allergens or toxins, genetically engineered foods need to be evaluated on a case-by-case basis and cannot be presumed to be generally recognized as safe. The possibility of such hazards dictate a cautious approach to genetically engineered food approvals. However, FDA has glossed over the safety concerns of genetically engineered foods and not taken steps to ensure the safety of these genetically engineered foods.

This bill requires that all genetically engineered foods follow a strenuous food safety review process:

 

  1. Requires all genetically engineered foods to follow FDA's current food additive process to ensure they are safe for human consumption.
  2. Requires that unique concerns of genetically engineered foods are explicitly examined in the review process, a phase out of antibiotic resistance markers, and a prohibition on known allergens.
  3. Continues FDA discretion in the food additive process in applying the safety factors that are generally recognized as appropriate.
  4. Requires the FDA to conduct a public comment period of at least 30 days once the completed safety application is available to the public
  5. The FDA is authorized to contract out for independent testing of a genetically engineered food and to seek Input on the food safety process from the National Academy's Institute of Medicine

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