This and related questions about labeling are great questions. We are often accused of being against labeling. We are not.
Let’s address seed labeling first. We support farmers’ right to choose the seeds that are the best fit for their individual farms. The individual GM seed products sold by our companies (we sell conventional and organic seeds too) are clearly identified as containing GM traits, and farmers choose and are aware of the type of product they are buying. They even enter into a contract and pay a premium if they choose to buy GM seed. Our hope is that efforts such as GMO Answers helps to provide information about GMO seeds to interested consumers.
With regard to food labeling, although we do not sell food products directly to consumers, we support food companies’ decisions to voluntarily label food products for the presence or absence of GMOs, based on their customers’ choices. This type of marketing claim is often used to promote one type of product over another and is unrelated to a health or safety. Some companies have opted to voluntarily label such as “USDA organic” or “Non-GMO Project Verified” for their customers who choose food that is not made with GMO ingredients.
This image, provided by DuPont Pioneer, is one example of the detailed labeling on Pioneer Brand seed bags. Seed packaging and label language differs by country, type of seed, specific seed characteristics (e.g., biotech traits) and more.
- We do support mandatory labeling of food, including GMO food, if such food presents a safety risk to a certain population, for example those allergic to a food ingredient. But therehas never been any evidence linking a food safety or health risk to the consumption of GMO 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 GMO foods on the market are as safe and nutritious as their non GMO counterparts[See FDA information here]. There have been a few studies that have asserted such a risk exists but each of these studies has been found not to be credible, essentially “debunked” by the global scientific community.
Examples of responses to two such studies can be found at:
- http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0278691512005637 - original paper and rebuttals There is a single, comprehensive letter signed by about 20 scientists from all over the world in the list of letters at this website. the specific link for that letter is http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0278691512007922
- http://www.sciencemediacentre.co.nz/2012/09/20/study-on-cancer-and-gm-maize-experts-respond/ Experts Respond
- http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/collideascape/2013/04/26/when-media-uncritically-cover-pseudoscience/#more-11062 – scientific critique
- http://www.glyphosate.eu/news/response-glyphosate-task-force-study-published-journal-entropy - scientific critique