QIf you are truly interested in opening the discussion, agree to full disclosure of any genetically modified ingredients in foods, or seeds. Why not?

If you are truly interested in opening the discussion, agree to full disclosure of any genetically modified ingredients in foods, or seeds. Why not?

AExpert Answer

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 will help to provide information about GM 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 health or safety. Some companies have opted to use voluntary label, such as “USDA Organic,” for their customers who choose food that is not made with GM ingredients.

 

This image, provided by DuPont Pioneer, is one example of the detailed labeling on Pioneer Brand seed bags. Seed packaging and label language differ by country, type of seed, specific seed characteristics (e.g., biotech traits) and more.

 

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.  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 August 15, 2017
No! However, poor nutrition coupled with highly processed foods and a lack of education regarding healthy eating is bad for our kids. As a mother and farmer, I believe the best way to keep my family safe and healthy is to make sure they eat a balanced diet and make good food choices daily. Fresh, healthy ingredients and minimally processed foods that are low in sugar, salt, calories and cholesterol provide kids with the best opportunity for a healthy diet. Agricultural biotechnology... Read More
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Posted on February 9, 2017
A species is defined by the ability to reproduce viable offspring, so any two plants within a species generally have the potential to cross pollinate. Like any good successful mating, it requires the union of male and female contributions at the right time, same place. So absolutely, GE crops have the potential to cross with non-GE crops of the same species—if they manage to get it on through time and space.    So the rules that apply to dogs and teenagers also apply to... Read More
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Posted on March 2, 2017
Here is a set of slides prepared by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) that discusses the sketch approval process. As the slides indicate, there are four categories of labels that require prior sketch approval: temporary labels, religious exemption, exports with labeling deviations, and special statements and claims. In the situation raised by your question, it is the last category (special statements and claims) that would... Read More
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