Ask Us Anything About GMOs!

Q:
If the biotech agriculture industry is, at it claims, interested in a free and natural market, why does it (i.e. why do you) spend so much money to influence consumer choice with marketing campaigns designed to sway the market in your favor?
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A:Expert Answer

This is a popular topic. A recent post from Cathleen Enright, executive director of the Council for Biotechnology Information, addresses this topic.

 

An excerpt from the response is included below:

 

“Efforts to pass laws that require labeling of any foods, including those made with GMOs, is inconsistent with the market ‘dictating what it wants.’ Rather, it's using the legislative process to try to gain an advantage in the marketplace.

 

"We are often accused of being against labeling.  We are not.  If any food, including GM food, presented a safety risk to a certain populationfor example, those allergic to a food ingredientwe most certainly would support a mandatory label on that food alerting consumers to this concern. But this is simply not the case. There is no evidence linking a food-safety or health risk to the consumption of GM foods.  There are hundreds of independent studies that demonstrate this (check out independent studies at Biofortified), in addition to the determinations from scientific and regulatory authorities around the world that GM foods on the market are as safe and nutritious as their non-GM counterparts [see FDA information here].  A few studies have asserted that such a risk exists, but each of these studies has been found not to be credible by the global scientific community.

 

"We support the right of consumers to choose food that is healthy and nutritious.  As believers in GM technology, and having seen the benefits accrue to farmers and society alike (check out 'GMOs and the Future of Agriculture'), we cannot support a label that conveys to consumers that food made from farmers’ crops grown with our seeds is less safe or nutritious than or different from conventional or organic food. We believe a government requirement to label a food “GM” would do just this."

 

You may also be interested in this Forbes article, which discusses labeling initiative.

 

Several other responses to this question are included below:

 

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