DNAP contests Kessler's accusations

WASHINGTON - DNA Plant Technology Corp. says FDA Commissioner David Kessler has distorted the company's role in assisting Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp. to produce a high-nicotine tobacco strain and has sent him a confidential letter outlining its concerns.

In widely publicized testimony last week before the House Energy and Commerce subcommittee on health, Kessler charged that Brown & Williamson developed a genetically engineered tobacco called Y-1 with twice the nicotine of conventional plants and then used it in cigarettes sold in the U.S., proving that the industry has manipulated nicotine levels in its products.