GM seed producers, such as Bayer, go through lengthy testing with regulators to prove the safety of their GM product for humans, animals and the environment before being authorized to sell such GM seed by regulatory agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency, Food and Drug Administration and/or U.S. Department of Agriculture. Since the first plantings of commercialized GM seed in 1996 (19 years ago), it has not been proven to cause harm. Growers are free to choose the seed they wish to purchase and grow based on preference, regulations, agronomic considerations, etc. If, for instance, a grower of a non-GM crop does not wish to have pollen from a GM crop grown on an adjacent farm cross-pollinating their crop, there are some best management considerations that facilitate such coexistence, including spatial, temporal and/or physical isolation.
In the very unlikely event that a GM crop would be proven to cause harm, Bayer has an emergency contact number and has an established procedure to address and manage issues. Further recourse to national laws and even international environmental protection laws exists. If you still have questions, please ask.
While biotech crops have been planted for more than a decade on over four billion acres of land without causing any damage to biological diversity, the public continues to have questions about how they can be sure there are appropriate mechanisms in place to address the unlikely chance that these products could cause some kind of harm to the environment. The leading agricultural biotechnology provider companies — BASF, Bayers, Dow Agrosciences, DuPont, Monsanto and Syngenta — are addressing some of this concern by voluntarily offering a legally binding mechanism for seeking redress if the release of one of their ag-biotech products causes damage to biological diversity. This groundbreaking agreement, called the Compact, is a demonstration of the companies’ confidence in the safety of their products and their commitment to protect biological diversity. In the unlikely event that one of their products causes damage to biological diversity, the Compact sets out clearly defined rules and procedures for filing a claim and having that claim be evaluated and decided upon in a timely and independent way. For more information, please visit www.biodiversitycompact.org.