Gregory Jaffe: Last and perhaps most concerning, the committee’s supposed consumer advocate is a lawyer (not a scientist) representing the Center for Science in the Public Interest, an organization that favors the use of agricultural biotechnology. Like Van Eeenennaam, he has served on AC21, from 2004 to 2008. His views can be seen in a paper he wrote called “Creating the Proper Environment for Acceptance of Agricultural Biotechnology.” In it he states CSPI’s unequivocal support for agricultural biology and his belief that genetically engineered crops have increased productivity and farmer income while reducing pesticide use, and that GE crops are safe for humans and the environment. Each of these conclusions is controversial, and credible evidence abounds disproving each, give or take the claim on farmer income.
Jaffe completes the paper by tackling what he sees as the true threat of biotechnology — public acceptance of GE foods. He calls for “a strong, but not stifling, regulatory system.” He also calls for the regulatory system to be “transparent and participatory” with “independent risk assessment research that informs the public and regulators.” Sounds good, but a full reading of the paper makes it apparent that perhaps his interest in regulation is intended more as a public show to convince the public to eat GE foods, than a true review of the safety of GE products. In a more recent article, “Questions About Genetically Engineered Animals,” Jaffe expresses optimism that genetically engineered animals, including the AquAdvantage salmon, will provide environmental or health benefits.
Gregory Jaffe was also imported into the committee as their supposed consumer advocate. In reality, he is with the pro-GMO Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), an organization that consistently ignores the mounting evidence of adverse health impacts from GE crops. Jaffe even filed a complaint to the FDA in 2001 complaining of companies that label their products as non-GMO. What further qualified Jaffe for his committee position was his published article Questions About Genetically Engineered Animals, where he touts the environmental benefits of AquAdvantage salmon.
GREGORY JAFFE, J.D.
DIRECTOR, PROJECT ON BIOTECHNOLOGY
CENTER FOR SCIENCE IN THE PUBLIC INTEREST
Gregory Jaffe is the Director of the Project on Biotechnology for the Center for Science in the Public Interest (“CSPI”), an advocacy and educational organization that focuses on nutrition and health, food safety, alcohol policy, and sound science. CSPI was instrumental in pushing through the federal law to create the “Nutrition Facts” label with clear nutrition information and that set standards for nutrition and health claims on food labels. CSPI is supported primarily by its 800,000 subscribers to its Nutrition Action Healthletter, a health and nutrition magazine published ten times a year.
Mr. Jaffe came to CSPI after a long and distinguished career in government service. He first worked as a Trial Attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice’s Environmental and Natural Resources Division for seven years. He then moved on to become Senior Counsel with the U.S. EPA, Air Enforcement Division, before joining CSPI to direct the Biotechnology project. Over the last decade, he has been a strong advocate for federal positions in federal court and frequently has spoken publicly on behalf of EPA. At EPA he was awarded a bronze medal for commendable service, a special achievement award, and a gold medal for performance.
Jaffe’s interest in biotechnology began early in his career when he wrote a law review article on regulatory issues surrounding biotechnology and genetically modified organisms. In the early 1990s, while at the Department of Justice, he advised the Assistant Attorney General on biotechnology issues and worked with a federal interagency committee addressing biotechnology policy. He is currently a member of the Pew Initiative on Food and Biotechnology’s Stakeholders Forum and was a member of the University of Pennsylvania Bioethics Center’s GMO Consumer Values Panel. He has published articles on agricultural biotechnology in the Christian Science Monitor, the Food and Drug Law Institute’s Update magazine, and the Environmental Law Institute’s Environmental Forum Magazine. He also has spoken at over a dozen conferences addressing agricultural biotechnology issues, both in the United States and abroad. He is a recognized expert on the U.S. regulatory structure for agricultural biotechnology as well as consumer issues pertaining to agricultural biotechnology.
Gregory Jaffe earned his BA with High Honors from Wesleyan University in Biology and then received a degree from Harvard Law School.