The Union of Concerned Scientists recently criticized the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for failing to solicit public and scientific input before it approved “the first commercialization both of a drug from a genetically engineered [GE] animal and of the animal itself.” According to the Union, FDA has allowed a Massachusetts company to raise a herd of GE goats capable of producing milk that contains a human protein used to prevent blood clots.

The consumer advocacy group has accused the agency of violating its promise to open a public comment period and to gather feedback from an FDA advisory committee before permitting the company to market the goats. “Under the FDA’s process, there were no discussions of the safety or ethical implications of the approval, nor were regulations developed to keep the goats and their milk from contaminating the food supply,” opined the Union in its March 2009 Food & Environment Electronic Digest. “The FDA is using drug laws as the basis to regulate all GE animals, even though most GE animals do not produce drugs, and even though the drug laws affirmatively discourage public participation, transparency, and appeal of approvals.”

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For decades, manufacturers, distributors and retailers at every link in the food chain have come to Shook, Hardy & Bacon to partner with a legal team that understands the issues they face in today's evolving food production industry. Shook attorneys work with some of the world's largest food, beverage and agribusiness companies to establish preventative measures, conduct internal audits, develop public relations strategies, and advance tort reform initiatives.