This is one of the most common questions submitted to GMO Answers. Cathleen Enright, executive director for the Council for Biotechnology Information, answered a similar question about labeling. Here is an excerpt:
“As believers in GM technology, and having seen the benefits nurture farmers and society alike, we are proud—in fact, you’ll see many of our accomplishments under ‘GMOs and the Future of Agriculture’: http://gmoanswers.com/explore. And you’ll find no excuses here—just our attempt at a straightforward response to a good question.
“We absolutely do support the right of consumers to choose food that is healthy and nutritious. And 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, so consumers who wish to can choose food that is not made with GMO ingredients. Some companies have opted to use these voluntary labels, such as ‘USDA Organic’.
“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. We believe the harm in mandating labeling for GMO food, just because it is a GMO food, is that such a label would convey to consumers that foods made from the farmers’ crops grown with our seeds are less safe than, less nutritious than or somehow different from conventional or organic food.
“But there has 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 on 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)
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