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How credible is Jack Heinemann or Bill Freese are? They have been mentioned in some blogs about their expertise in anti gmo sites. And Isoxaflutole, it's toxicity studies?

A:Expert Answer

I’ll try to answer the first part of your question, but obviously, I can’t say anything directly about credibility. As you point out, both Bill Freese and Jack Heinemann are widely cited in anti-GM communications.  They hold strongly to certain beliefs that a very large part of the scientific community does not share, but that do resonate within the anti-GM community.  Two of these beliefs include that the process involved in modern biotechnology poses unique risks, and that the current regulatory processes used to evaluate risks are unsatisfactory. 


The majority of the scientific community – including scientists at leading food safety organizations and regulatory agencies worldwide – disagree with them on both accounts.  However, it is because they hold these beliefs and base their writings on them that they are widely cited by the anti-GM websites.


I’d also like to emphasize that safety is a key priority for all of us at Monsanto, and we are committed to hiring and working with world-class scientists and external consultants and cooperators to conduct state-of-the-art experiments that are the basis of the risk assessments in our regulatory submissions.  These experiments are conducted using rigorous stewardship and quality control systems to ensure accuracy and reconstructability.  Bill Freese does not conduct independent experimental work with GM crops.  Rather, his work focuses on policy analysis and public criticism of GM crops.  Similarly, while Jack Heinemann has written numerous publications covering a wide range of topics, his anti-GM articles are analyses or editorials that do not involve any original independent experimental data from GM plants. 


We respect their right to express their beliefs.  We will also continue to candidly answer questions, share information on the safety of our processes and our products and engage with qualified scientific experts around the world to ensure compliance with rigorous regulatory processes.


Moderator: To address the second part of your question, which is about Isoxaflutole and toxicity studies, we are contacting the appropriate expert for view. Thank you for your patience as the GMO Answers Team develops a separate response to address your second question.

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