Biotech Companies Launch GMO Information Initiative

8/3/2013 7:00 AM

WASHINGTON — The agricultural biotechnology companies that develop genetically modified seeds — or GMOs — are joining forces to launch an initiative to provide information and answer questions about GMOs and how food is grown.

GMO Answers — — is a new conversation, public Q&A and central online resource for information about GMOs, their background, use in agriculture, and research and data in one easy-to-access public resource for the first time.

“GMOs are a growing topic of discussion today, with a wide range of questions and emotions,” said Cathleen Enright, spokeswoman for GMO Answers. “Food is personal, so we want to open the door for personal discussions.

“We recognize we haven’t done the best job communicating about GMOs — what they are, how they are developed, food safety information — the science, data and processes,” she said. “We want people to join us and ask their tough questions.

“Be skeptical,” she said. “Evaluate the information and decide for yourself. We look forward to an open conversation.”

As the public discussion on GMOs continues, the scientists who develop biotech seeds along with farmers who grow them want to make information about GMOs easier to find and understand.

“This type of open conversation, connecting consumers to experts in academia, government and the industry, is absolutely necessary to advance food and agriculture research to ensure that everyone has access to the highest quality, most sustainably produced food,” said Martina Newell-McGloughlin, director of the International Biotechnology Program at the University of California, Davis.

“Having grown up on a small farm and spent much of my life in academia I can relate to the issues on several levels,” Newell-McGloughlin said. “I’ve offered to address questions submitted to GMO Answers openly, based on my personal insights, experience and research.

“I know that many of my colleagues have committed to do the same because we feel consumers have every right to ask questions about how their food is grown, and they deserve an open and honest response so that they can make informed decisions,” she said.

GMO Answers is produced by the members of The Council for Biotechnology Information, which includes BASF, Bayer CropScience, Dow AgroSciences LLC, DuPont, Monsanto Co. and Syngenta.

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