We recognise there is concern among some consumers about the increasing use of genetically modified (GM) crops in modern agriculture, particularly related to food products. Members of our industry have recently been asked about the use of cotton derived from genetically modified plants in wound dressings and associated products.
Cotton fibres are extra-cellular and hence genetically-modifiable information is not carried by them. Any genetic modifications will relate to the plant and not to the cotton fibres. Genetically modified plants give rise to the same cotton fibres as non-genetically modified plants. Since cotton has been successfully used for over one hundred years in medical applications it is extremely unlikely that there are any safety issues associated with the use of cotton fibre in these products.
We will, however, continue to monitor new information as this becomes available and will notify the appropriate Authority should this raise any industry concerns.
SDMA members source cotton fibre from suppliers based in most major cotton producing countries around the world and, being sensitive to the environmental concerns of our customers and consumers, we do acknowledge that further appraisals may be necessary to evaluate, in conjunction with our cotton suppliers, any potential environmental impacts associated with the increasing commercialisation of genetically modified cotton.
SDMA members will continue to provide safe and effective products which have to satisfy National and European medical device standards and regulations. We will also work together with the appropriate Government agencies towards further understanding of all the issues related to the debate on genetically modified cotton.