FDA may post biotech food info

Draft FDA rule on bioengineered food labeling

The Food and Drug Administration's Web site would post the ingredients of bioengineered foods while the agency reviews the safety of the products, according to a proposed rule issued Wednesday by the FDA.

The rule, if approved, would require food developers to notify the FDA 120 days before a new product is marketed. Biotech firms worked with the FDA to come up with a rule that would be accepted by government and industry.

The information would be posted in the agency's electronic reading room. It would be available to help consumers decide whether to use food products made with ingredients developed via biotechnology and determine whether they could be allergic to the ingredients.

"The reason we're putting it up publicly is so anyone can see this information," an FDA spokesman said. "We're giving consumers the information that can alleviate the fears they may have. The Internet is an easy way to do this now."

The biotech industry has been on the defensive in recent months because of nationwide recalls of taco shells that were found to contain gene-altered corn that hasn't been approved for human consumption.

"These initiatives will further assure that all food products developed using the tools of modern biotechnology are known to the Food and Drug Administration," FDA Commissioner Jane Henney said.

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