Labeling Issues Complex, Potentially Costly For Consumers

DATE: Sept. 7, 2000


rDNA Biotechnology-Derived Foods:

Answers You Can Count On

Food science experts answer key questions about foods derived from rDNA biotechnology:

  • Are they safe to eat?
  • What is rDNA and how is it used to improve food?
  • Are these foods regulated?
  • Will they cause allergies?
  • What are the chances of creating antibiotic resistant bacteria?
  • Should these foods be labeled?
  • What are the benefits of biotechnology, now and in the future?
  • Will these plants hurt the environment?
  • How do we encourage biotechnology research while fostering industry competitiveness?
  • Why do we need biotechnology?

The Institute of Food Technologists, founded in 1939, is a scientific nonprofit society with 29,000 individual members working in food science, technology and related professions in industry, academia and government. As the society for food science and technology, IFT brings the scientific perspective to the public discussion of food issues.

The purpose of the press conference is to release a new comprehensive report on biotechnology and foods. The report, written for IFT members and the public, is the result of extensive review of the available scientific evidence by three panels of senior scientists chosen for their subject-matter knowledge. At the press conference, reporters will have the opportunity to question the scientists who led the development of the report.

Dr. Dallas Hoover, Professor, Department of Animal and Food Science, University of Delaware

Dr. Sanford A. Miller, Dean, Graduate School of Biomedical Science, University of Texas

Dr. Bruce Stillings, IFT Past President and Principal, Food and Agriculture Consultants Inc.

Dr. John Vanderveen, Scientist Emeritus, Food and Drug Administration

Holeman Lounge, National Press Club, 529 14th St. N.W., Washington, D.C.

1:30 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2000

In an effort to contribute to a meaningful dialogue on scientific issues and consumer concerns about rDNA biotechnology, the Institute of Food Technologists, a non-profit society for food science and technology, conducted a comprehensive review of biotechnology. IFT convened three panels of experts, consisting of IFT members and other prominent biotechnology authorities, to evaluate the scientific evidence and write a report divided into four sections: Introduction, Safety, Labeling, and Benefits and Concerns.