QThe term GMO to refer to food derived from plants whose genetic endowment, in part, includes traits inserted or deleted through biotech techniques is both highly predjudicial and hardly accurate. Even if genetic engineering had not been invented, virtual

The term GMO to refer to food derived from plants whose genetic endowment, in part, includes traits inserted or deleted through biotech techniques is both highly predjudicial and hardly accurate. Even if genetic engineering had not been invented, virtually every bite of food we eat, comes from a source that is a genetically modified version of some plant or animal ancestor. Is there a more precise term to refer to foods derived from source plants or organisms whose genetic information has been altered in part by modern genetic engineering techniques since these are only a small subset of all genetically modified organisms? Would you be more open to some form of ingredient labeling if the requirement was not to place a designation such as "may contain GMO's" that implies inaccurate inference of safety or nutritional composition of the food product, but perhaps something like "may contain food ingredients derived from organisms improved through [more accurate term to substitute for GMOs]." Or perhaps, "may contain ingredients derived from organisms developed in whole or in part through regulated breeding methods."

AExpert Answer

You make very valid points in your question. The goal of food labeling, and this site, should be to provide information that helps consumers make their own determination about a topic that is important to them and their food choices. We believe any label—whether it references biotechnology, GMOs or another term—should be helpful, not confusing, for consumers.

 

We’re continuing to have conversations across the value chain and with a variety of stakeholders to figure out how we can best meet the growing desire for information about how food is raised, and—as you point out—share it in a way that is scientifically accurate and meaningful. Unfortunately, most GMO-labeling proposals to date would result in a patchwork of confusing state-based rules and increased costs for consumers. Another complicating factor is the nearly infinite amount of information about our food that theoretically could go on a label, and yet the amount of space on food labels is finite and traditionally has been reserved for safety and health information vs. marketing claims.

 

In the meantime, companies like ours are participating in and funding this site to answer the questions consumers have about GMOs: questions about GMO safety, the potential impacts to the environment (including beneficial), perceived corporate control of agriculture or how we make biotech crops and why. These are questions that a label cannot answer.

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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