Regulations

The FDA will soon issue a long-awaited policy for genetically engineered foods, which it hopes will satisfy both industry and consumer groups. Manufacturers argue that most gene-spliced products are no different from old-fashioned crops--and thus require no new oversight. But opponents say the FDA needs to conduct thorough safety reviews of all biotech foods, such as tomatoes that are genetically engineered for long shelf life. The compromise: Companies must notify the FDA before marketing such products, but the agency will take only a quick look to see if new genes make the foods dangerous. "We think this policy will be good for companies and for the consumer," says a top agency official.

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