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David B. Schmidt

President & CEO, International Food Information Council (IFIC) Foundation

Expert Bio

The Board of Directors of the International Food Information Council (IFIC) in Washington, DC elected David Schmidt as President & CEO effective January 1, 2006. Schmidt also serves as President & CEO of the International Food Information Council Foundation. Previously, he held the positions of executive vice president, vice president and director and has been a frequent speaker on a wide range of food safety and nutrition issues. Prior to joining IFIC in 1993, Schmidt served as the first Bush Administration's director of external affairs for the Food Safety and Inspection Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Studies, Articles and Answers

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Q: If GMOs are such a safe and great idea, then why would Monsanto not be proud to label the products, then proceed to educate people on the reasons they want to control the world's food and wipe out the smaller natural organic farmers??

Answered By David B. Schmidt - Dec 20, 2013

A: Many groups and individuals opposed to the use of biotechnology to produce food have spread misinformation to create fear, which has led to anecdotal reports of the types of claims you describe.  Many studies have tried to replicate the types of  harm described in claims that have fueled such misinformation, but no credible scientific bodies could confirm the alleged harms.  A recent example is an article that The Food and Chemical Toxicology journal retracted in early December 2013, based on a French study that claimed rats could develop tumors if exposed to the herb [...]

Answered By Lisa Drake - Aug 04, 2013

A: This is a multi-faceted question, so I’m going to break this down into several bullets to try to address all of your points. Monsanto breeds and sells both GM and conventional seeds to our farmer customers, and we support their right to choose the seeds that are the best fit for their individual farms. Individual seed products are clearly identified as containing GM traits where appropriate, and farmers choose and are aware of the type of product they are buying.Although Monsanto doesn’t sell food or have products that can be labeled for consumers, we support food companies’ choices to v [...]

GMOs in Groceries Health & Safety Labeling


Q: As part of your core principals you state: "Respecting people around the world and their RIGHT TO CHOOSE healthy food products that are best for themselves and their families"My question is this:If I choose not to ingest GMO products at this time, as I w

Answered By David B. Schmidt - Oct 17, 2013

A: Absolutely, consumer choice is important. Americans and citizens in many parts of the world have been safely consuming foods produced using biotechnology for nearly 20 years, and there is no credible evidence of any harm from consuming genetically engineered foods anywhere in the world.  The weight of the evidence on this point is overwhelming and has been confirmed by groups including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, U.S. Department of Agriculture, American Medical Association, European Food Safety Authority and many others. Click here to view the IFIC Foundation's videos wit [...]

GMOs in Groceries Health & Safety Labeling


Q: Isn't it true that the health consequences of eating genetically modified organisms are still largely unknown?

Answered By David B. Schmidt - Dec 23, 2013

A: That is false, because a growing global consensus of leading experts in science, medical and regulatory agencies around the world have confirmed that there is no evidence of harm from consuming foods produced using biotechnology anywhere in the world. Any potential risks of consuming these foods are no greater than the safety of consuming conventional foods. In the United States, the Food and Drug Administration and USDA review the science of all foods in commerce and have the authority to remove any food from the market it deems unsafe. Numerous reviews in the United States and by [...]

GMO Basics Health & Safety


Q: If biotech industry leaders are scientifically confident that GMOs are 100% safe, why is the biotech industry spending millions of dollars to campaign against the American people who want the GMOs they buy labeled?

Answered By David B. Schmidt - Oct 08, 2013

A: While I can’t speak for the biotech industry, there is an important principle at stake in many of these ballot measures.  Activists and elements of the organic and natural food industries are spending millions of dollars to stigmatize conventional and biotech foods in order to promote their niche products, which are generally sold to consumers at a higher price.  In essence, they are creating fear with unproven, outlandish allegations in order to get unsuspecting consumers to avoid affordable, safe and wholesome foods, in hopes that they can sell you their niche product at a higher p [...]

Answered By Community Manager - Oct 02, 2013

A:  Please review the following responses on this topic:    If you are truly interested in opening the discussion, agree to full disclosure of any genetically modified ingredients in foods, or seeds. Why not? If as you say GMO is so safe then why all the billions being spent to fight Labeling . Why not just spend a few $ and label all? You have answered, very thoroughly, your reasons for opposing labeling GMO products. You also acknowledge that people have some strong feelings about consuming them. For whatever good or bad reason, some people prefer to avoid them. My q [...]

GMOs in Groceries Health & Safety Labeling


Q: If. Britain won't grow the stuff why has the USA saturated shops with it? We over here don't want freaky food , so why lie to poor old peeps in the america? Do you believe them to be somehow more gullibble or less intelligent? Americans are human beings a

Answered By David B. Schmidt - Oct 07, 2013

A: Let me start by saying, there is absolutely no intention to deceive the American consumer by our regulatory bodies. We are fortunate in the United States that food safety determinations are made by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) at arm’s length from the political process.  Our regulatory and science authorities like those around the world have confirmed the safety of foods produced using biotechnology.  In fact there is no credible evidence of any harm from consuming biotech foods anywhere in the world. For more information on t [...]

Health & Safety How GMOs Are Made


Q: If GMOs are not a concern, then why aren't they listed with the rest of the ingredients of a product?

Answered By David B. Schmidt - Dec 20, 2013

A: The FDA determines what ingredients are important to health and safety that should be listed on a food label.  The process of producing foods using biotechnology itself does not trigger any material disclosures that would be required to be listed.  However, the FDA policy already requires that if a biotechnology trait produced a protein not expected to be in a certain food, the presence of that protein must be identified on the label.  In that case the specific protein, rather than the process used to produce it, is required to be declared on the label.  The acronym “GMO” [...]

GMOs in Groceries Health & Safety Labeling


Q: There are currently 61 countries worldwide that label food that has been genetically engineered. Why would food need a warning if it was safe to eat?

Answered By David B. Schmidt - Oct 16, 2013

A: In fact, you’ve answered your own question in a way. There is no need for mandatory labeling in the U.S. because biotech food is safe to eat. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ensures that food labels are truthful and not misleading.  In fact, the FDA would not allow a warning label on foods produced using biotechnology, because they are safe to eat. (FDA has information regarding its assessment of the safety of “Foods from Genetically Engineered Plants”). Our surveys since 1997 have consistently shown that a majority of Americans support the FDA’s policy on labeling foods prod [...]

GMOs in Groceries Health & Safety Labeling