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September 2, 2004
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The National Academy of Science warns that genetically modified food carries the risk of unintended changes in the allergens, toxins and nutrients in the food which could pose human health risks.

Report puts GMOs under more scrutiny

In a report requested by several federal agencies, the National Academy of Science warns that genetically modified food carries the risk of unintended changes in the allergens, toxins and nutrients in the food which could pose human health risks if consumed. The panel that produced the report said genetic engineering did not appear to be inherently dangerous, but that the process needed some type of new government regulation. The report seemed to be well received by the food industry. Jeffrey Barach, an executive with the National Food Processors Association in Washington, said the report calls for a "science-based" approach to assessing the safety of genetically modified foods, something the industry supports.



National centers to protect food supply

The Department of Homeland Security is establishing the National Center for Food Protection and Defense. Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge says four centers will be set up nationwide to prevent and respond to food-borne attacks in the US. The centers, to be based at major universities, will bring together researchers, industry experts and government leaders to respond to a wide range of scenarios. The four centers are a key part of the government's effort to protect the food supply from terrorist attack, Ridge says.

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