NIAA sponsorship, biotechnology policy approved

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The AVMA Executive Board approved AVMA support of the National Institute for Animal Agriculture annual meeting at a cost of $2,000, beginning in 2006. The Animal Agriculture Liaison Committee put forward the recommendation and noted that the AVMA sponsored previous meetings of the NIAA and its predecessor organization, Livestock Conservation Institute, beginning in 1998.

Also on recommendation from the AALC, the board approved revisions to the AVMA Position on Biotechnology. The revised position reads:

Food Production Biotechnology

The American Veterinary Medical Association is committed to the availability of food that is safe, healthy and nutritious for the consumer. The Association supports the opportunity to use biotechnology where it benefits or protects human or animal welfare, and enhances production of a safe and nutritious food supply.

The AVMA supports a science-based regulatory system for the approval of products developed through biotechnology. Current regulations require USDA, FDA and EPA to approve these products for safety and efficacy before they can be marketed for human or animal use or consumption.

New products developed through biotechnology may benefit the environment and enhance the nutritional value and safety of food for humans and animals. The AVMA urges that any additional regulation of products developed through biotechnology be risk-based and science-based.

The AALC reviewed the position statement as part of a five-year policy review mandate. The committee reported that the revisions, which included the addition of "Food Production" to the headline and several edits in the first paragraph, would more accurately describe the limited scope of the position statement and help differentiate the position from the recently approved AVMA Position Statement on the Creation and Use of Genetically Modified Animals.