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(Posted Tue. Aug 6th, 2013)
It’s no secret: the biotechnology industry hasn’t done the best job communicating about GMOs. That’s about to change with GMO Answers, a new joint initiative by the agricultural and biotechnology companies that create genetically modified seeds, now endorsed by the National Corn Growers Association. The GMOAnswers.com website is a new resource committed to transparency about the use of GMOs in agriculture, research and data – all in one public place for the first time.
“As corn farmers, we recognize the important role biotechnology plays in providing healthy food choices for all,” said NCGA President Pam Johnson. “At the same time, we witness first-hand groundless attacks on biotechnology by extremists, and a deeper public interest in sincerely learning more about GMOs. GMO Answers goes a long way in helping today’s families understand today’s agriculture.”
New research shows that there is a need for this conversation: 49 percent of people surveyed either don’t know or are unsure of what a genetically modified crop is, and most have very little understanding of what GMO products are on the market today. This lack of knowledge is a breeding ground for confusion and misconception, fueling negative perceptions and fear of the unknown. NCGA is excited to be part of this initiative that aims to connect world-class experts to concerned consumers, and organize hard-to-find health and safety information in one place.
GMO Answers is inviting the world – even GMO critics – to ask the tough questions, be skeptical, and evaluate the information on biotechnology. As public debate grows on genetically modified foods, our goal is to make information not only easier to find, but easier to understand. The scientists who develop biotech seeds, along with the farmers who grow them, are committed to a new standard of transparency and access, as outlined in the GMO Answers five core principles:
- Welcoming and answering questions on all GMO topics
- Making GMO information, research and data easy to access and evaluate, and supporting independent safety testing of GM products, including allowing independent safety testing of our products by using validated science-based methods
- Supporting farmers as they work to grow crops using precious resources more efficiently with less impact on the environment and producing safe, nutritious food and feed products
- Respecting farmers’ rights to choose the seeds that are best for their farms, businesses and communities and providing seed choices that include making non-GM seeds based on market demands
- Respecting people around the world and their right to choose healthy food products that are best for themselves and their families
“Ask tough questions. Be skeptical. Evaluate the information for yourselves and make up your own mind. We look forward to sharing answers,” Cathleen Enright, Ph.D., spokeswoman for GMO Answers, said in inviting the public to visit GMO Answers.
With the support of our staff and growers, and the larger biotechnology community, NCGA and GMO Answers will help fuel a broad, industry-wide initiative to start a new conversation on genetic modification and how the food we eat goes from seed to table. Visit GMOAnswers.com to join the conversation – and don’t be afraid to ask tough questions.
GMO Answers is funded by the members of The Council for Biotechnology Information, which includes BASF, Bayer CropScience, Dow AgroSciences LLC, DuPont, Monsanto Company and Syngenta.