First, I think it’s important to point out that nearly two decades of science and rigorous global review have demonstrated that biotech crops are safe. Therefore, biotech labeling isn’t a question of safety, but rather of how food is marketed. At DuPont Pioneer, we develop and market seed, both biotech and non-biotech, to meet the unique needs of our farmer customers and the markets they’re serving. As you’ve noted, there already are food marketing programs in place for consumers looking for products grown without the benefit of biotechnology. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Certified Organic Program probably is the most recognized example, but USDA’s Agriculture Marketing Service also offers process verification services for companies looking to validate a marketing claim about specific aspects of how a food is grown or processed.
At the end of the day, we believe all labels should be helpful and not misleading for consumers. What I find in the discussions I have is, helpful means different things to different people. When it comes to biotechnology, some would find it helpful to know about GM safety, others are interested in the potential impacts to the environment (including beneficial), perceived corporate control of agriculture or how we make biotech crops and why. In the end, a label will not help answer these questions. But we can. That is why the biotech companies have joined together to create this forum where consumers can ask their questions directly of us, independent scientists, health professionals, farmers and more.
You’re not alone in your question about labeling, we’ve received and answered many on the site so far about this and a lot of other popular topics. I’d encourage you to check out other answers, and if you have a question that hasn’t been addressed, post it to the site and an expert will carefully review and respond.