Select Committee on European Communities Minutes of Evidence

Supplementary letter from Zeneca Agrochemicals and Zeneca Plant Science

  I am writing with reference to the committee's request for a critique of the paper "the gaps in the regulatory oversight of biotechnology in the US[1], and our subsequent telephone conversation.

  The legal and regulatory systems in the USA are very different from those operating in the UK or EU and we feel that an expert familiar with that system should be asked to provide a detailed comment on Dr Kinderlerer's paper. A person either from the American Embassy or perhaps Dr Giddings from the American Biotechnology Industry Organisation, (fax 001 202 857 0237).

  We would, however, like to draw the committee's attention to the stated principle of the government of the USA that their primary policy is to protect the environment. In Paragraph 26 we would suggest that "in the US the authorities must show the probability of harm" is more accurate wording than "in the US the authorities must prove harm".

  Zeneca believes that the release and use of genetically modified crops is appropriately regulated in the USA even though they use a different approach. In our written and oral evidence we make the point that in our experience for genetically modified crop plants and the food from such plants then the scientific questions asked by the US regulators are very similar to those asked in the UK or EU.

Dr N J Poole

External and Regulatory Affairs Group Manager

26 June 1998

1   Referring specifically to genetic engineering. Back

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