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, 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 voluntarily label food as “USDA Organic” for their consumers who opt for food that is not made with GMOs.
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:
- Long-term toxicity of a Roundup herbicide and a Roundup-tolerant genetically modified maize by Gilles-Eric Séralini (original paper, rebuttals and official retraction)
- A comprehensive letter to the editor requesting a "serious reconsideration of the recent paper by Seralini et al." signed by scientists from all over the world
- Science Media Centre: Study on cancer and GM maize – experts respond
- Discover Magazine: When Media Uncritically Cover Pseudoscience
- Response of the Glyphosate Task Force to the study published in the journal Entropy
As believers in GM technology, and having seen the benefits nurture farmers and society alike (check out "GMOs and the Future of Agriculture"), we believe the harm comes from a label that conveys to consumers that food made from farmers' crops grown with our seeds is somehow less safe or nutritious than or somehow different from conventional or organic food. This is simply not the case. We believe a government requirement to label a food "GM" would do just this, and a 2013 study conducted by an MIT professor supports this view [see "Policy and Inference: The Case of Product Labeling"].