Ask Us Anything About GMOs!
Browse all Questions & Answers
Q: Nutritional issues, and health risks of consuming GMOs are not the only issues of concern. Whenever anybody asks the GMO industry about labeling, the stock answer is that that regulators don't recognize any health or nutritional differences...
Posted On: Thursday, 8/01/2013 8:32 am
Answered By: Kate Hall, Manager, Partnerships and Programs, Food and Agriculture Section, Biotechnology Industry Organization on Monday, 1/13/2014 11:11 pm
A: You've raised some important issues, and as someone who’s also worried about fragile ecosystems and climate change, I personally appreciate your concern. Let’s take a look at the source of your concern―the issues you list are not specific to farming that utilizes genetically engineered seeds, so a GMO label actually wouldn’t give you the information you’re looking for. All agricultural production methods, including organic, conventional and GM, affect the environment. Each system... Continue Reading
Q: A recent NY Times poll shows that 93 percent of Americans support GMO labeling. You say that you "are not...against labeling," but that you "cannot support...a label that conveys to consumers that foods made from the farmers’ crops...
Posted On: Friday, 8/02/2013 8:22 pm
Answered By: Kate Hall, Manager, Partnerships and Programs, Food and Agriculture Section, Biotechnology Industry Organization on Monday, 1/13/2014 11:06 pm
A: Surveys can be pretty tricky things because the response you receive often depends on how you ask the question―if it's open-ended or contains leading words or statements. A number of polls have been conducted in recent years claiming that upwards of 80 percent or 90 percent of respondents want GMO labeling. What's interesting to me, though, is that I've been searching for the actual surveys to see how the questions were asked, and I can't find them. This makes me skeptical about the... Continue Reading
Q: I find it very interesting how the biotech industry has no problem with giving the farmer a label telling them that their seed that they have purchased has been genetically modified (roundup ready, drought guard & smart stax) and then you even...
Posted On: Saturday, 8/03/2013 1:40 pm
Answered By: Kate Hall, Manager, Partnerships and Programs, Food and Agriculture Section, Biotechnology Industry Organization on Monday, 1/13/2014 11:05 pm
A: Your question highlights some important issues, especially in terms of communicating to different audiences. The most direct answer to the first part of your question is that it’s the farmer who is the customer buying the product from the seed company, and our companies can only label the products that they actually sell. This doesn’t mean, though, that we are intentionally hiding information from the end food consumer. While we acknowledge that our industry has not... Continue Reading
Q: On what logic do you reason one should only be informed about what they consume if there is an immediate safety risk? Quotes a-kin to the following appear in multiple answers: "...if such food presents a safety risk to a certain population, for...
Posted On: Monday, 8/05/2013 11:30 pm
Answered By: Kate Hall, Manager, Partnerships and Programs, Food and Agriculture Section, Biotechnology Industry Organization on Monday, 1/13/2014 11:04 pm
A: I have to admit that I’m a little unsure about what you’re asking. Ingredients and nutritional values are provided on a food label so that individuals can make informed decisions, including about safety, when purchasing a product. If one of those ingredients is a known allergen (a recognized safety hazard), that ingredient is also highlighted in a separate statement on the package. Perhaps you’re making the assumption that the process of genetically engineering a seed... Continue Reading
Q: You guys have said that food labels are only to warn consumers of nutritional content or anything that might be harmful, and that is why you try to shut down labeling initiatives. What about country of origin? I buy avocados from Mexico all the time...
Posted On: Wednesday, 9/04/2013 1:42 pm
Answered By: Kate Hall, Manager, Partnerships and Programs, Food and Agriculture Section, Biotechnology Industry Organization on Monday, 1/13/2014 11:02 pm
A: I’m going to quibble a little bit with your interpretation of what we’ve said. As far as I know, we haven’t made any statements indicating that the only reason for a food label is to warn consumers. There is a lot of information, such as marketing claims, provided on a product package that has nothing to do with safety. What we have opposed are state labeling initiatives that are meant to disparage products with GMO ingredients. Supporters... Continue Reading