QWhy are over 65 countries around the world labeling food containing GMOs, but it's not supported by biotech companies in the U.S. (other than possibly being perceived as inferior to conventional food crops)? Also, why are some countries choosing to ban GM

Why are over 65 countries around the world labeling food containing GMOs, but it's not supported by biotech companies in the U.S. (other than possibly being perceived as inferior to conventional food crops)? Also, why are some countries choosing to ban GMO crops? Do they have evidence to show GMOs pose a danger to the health of their citizens?

AExpert Answer

Food packaging, labeling and marketing laws vary greatly by geography and even within geographies.

 

In the United States, all food is labeled in accordance with Food and Drug Administration policy, which is the same for foods derived from biotechnology as it is for conventional foods. When a food product derived from biotechnology differs in composition, nutritional value or end use, that difference must be noted on the label, just as it is with other foods (e.g., margarine versus low-fat margarine). Most foods from biotech crops are not different by FDA standards and therefore not required to be labeled in the United States.

 

The labeling question continues to be debated here in the States, but the important thing to know is that we believe information for consumers is a good thing. That is why we sponsor this forum where consumers can ask their questions directly of us―independent scientists, health professionals, farmers and more.

 

Regarding the second part of your question, very few countries have actually banned the growing of crops. In most cases, GM crops are not approved for cultivation (or growing by local farmers) because a regulatory process does not yet exist in that country. As of 2012, 74 governments had approved either the cultivation of biotech crops in their country or the import of GM food and feed products. The overwhelming weight of scientific evidence demonstrates the safety of plant biotechnology. Even in the European Union, which is widely recognized as the most precautious political authority, governing bodies and scientific bodies have declared a number of specific crops to be safe and published to research reviews concluding that GMOs are at least as safe as conventional crops. 

Posted on March 2, 2017
The term “GMO” typically refers to crops or animals that, through genetic engineering, have had a gene (or a few genes) from a different species inserted into their genome. So yes, by design, to improve a crop or animal with genetic engineering, the genome of the new, GE variety has been changed by the addition of new genes(s).     Your question also asks about whether inserting the new gene(s) will “…activate genes…” Some traits in... Read More
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 August 15, 2017
The first use of recombinant DNA technology, was created by Cohen and Boyer in 1972 with E.coli in 1972 and this article explains this advancement in biotechnology in greater detail. Here is an excerpt: “Their experiments dramatically demonstrated the potential impact of DNA recombinant engineering on medicine and pharmacology, industry and agriculture.”   Recombinant insulin was the first commercial product derived from genetic engineering techniques created in 1976 by the... Read More