The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) applauded the release of federal guidance on the use of genetically engineered animals in research and food production.

"Genetic engineering has opened many doors and has the potential to provide great benefit to humans, animals and our society," said W. Ron DeHaven, DVM, chief executive officer of the AVMA.

Dr. DeHaven's comments were issued in response to today's announcement by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that it has released draft guidance on the regulation of genetically engineered animals and is asking for comments from the public.

"The development and appropriate regulation of this technology has widespread applications in advancing our knowledge of diseases, food safety, environmental conservation and efficient food and fiber production," Dr. DeHaven said. "The AVMA urges that all stakeholders involved incorporate thorough scientific review in the process and responsibly address animal welfare issues."

The FDA guidance is intended to increase industry compliance with FDA regulations and increase public awareness and understanding of the FDA's role in the oversight of genetically engineered animals and food products derived from these animals.

The AVMA's policy on the Use of Biotechnology in Veterinary Medicine and Animal Agriculture can be viewed at www.avma/issues/policy/biotechnology_medicine_agriculture.asp.

The FDA's draft guidance can be viewed at downloaded here. Public comments on the draft guidance are accepted until November 18, 2008, and can be submitted by going to fda/dockets/ecomments or regulations and selecting select Docket No. FDA-2008-D-0394.

The AVMA and its more than 76,000 member veterinarians are engaged in a wide variety of activities dedicated to advancing the science and art of animal, human and public health. Visit the AVMA Web site at avma for more information.

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