Impacting Our Lives- From Farm to
There are several ways that biotechnology can
influence the health of people. The tools of biotechnology are used in the
production of medicines and foods which have a direct effect on human health.
In addition, biotechnology can influence health indirectly through
environmental influences, such as reduced pesticide usage. As with any new
approach, there are risks and benefits to be explored and evaluated. One of
the most clear health benefits of foods produced by biotechnology methods is
the potential for improved nutrition, such as healthier oils or more
vitamin-rich vegetables. A potential health concern is the unintentional
introduction of food allergens or toxins into new foods.
There are three federal agencies with primary responsibility for regulating
biotechnology in the United States: the United States Department of
Agriculture (USDA), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the
U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). These agencies coordinate the
federal effort to promote the benefits and reduce the risks associated
with biotechnology tools and methods.
More Information on Health and Food Safety
A Council for Agricultural Science and Technology (CAST)
Biotechnology and the Future of Food A
Scientific Assessment, Oct. 31, 2005