QHow does the Biotechnology Council live up to its first principle, "Respecting people around the world and their right to choose healthy food products that are best for themselves and their families", by opposing GMO labeling of foods? Seems to me we coul

How does the Biotechnology Council live up to its first principle, "Respecting people around the world and their right to choose healthy food products that are best for themselves and their families", by opposing GMO labeling of foods? Seems to me we could better choose the foods we prefer and consider healthy if they were labeled as to GMO. Since more foods lately are GMO than not, they need to be labeled. Please explain.

AExpert Answer

Thank you for this question. I am very glad you asked it.  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 GM ingredients. Some companies have opted to use such voluntarily labels such as “USDA Organic."

 

We do support mandatory labeling of food, including GM 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 GM food, just because it is a GM 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 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, essentially “debunked” by the global scientific community.  

 

Examples can be found here:

 

Posted on March 9, 2018
Sun Pacific oranges are not a GM food, in fact all oranges are not a GM crop. Nearly all foods today have been genetically modified or altered in some way over thousands of years through selective breeding. But there are only 10 commercially available GM crops in the U.S: soybeans, corn (field and sweet), canola, cotton, alfalfa, sugar beets, summer squash, papaya, potatoes and apples. Below is a table outlining what year the 10 crops became commercially available:  ... Read More
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Posted on March 8, 2018
That’s a great question because so many people ‘expect’ there to be a difference and taste is purely a subjective assessment. So the answer is – it depends. Examples when the “look” would be different: Golden Rice: his rice has been engineered to be higher in Beta-carotene, using a gene from maize/corn, to help reduce the incidence of Vitamin A deficiency in developing countries whose Vitamin A content in the diet is so low, that results in blindness,... Read More
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Posted on February 28, 2018
On average, GMOs take 13 years and $130 million of research and development before coming to market. We’ve created the below infographic that outlines this process in more detail: The following infographic includes excerpts from more than 600+ safety assessment studies which assess the health and safety of GMOs. You can also read more about the regulatory review and approval process in Wendelyn Jones, Global Regulatory Affairs, DowDuPont Crop Protection’s response to a... Read More
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