WASHINGTON, D.C.-The agricultural biotechnology companies that develop genetically modified seeds-or GMOs-are coming together to launch a broad, new initiative to provide accurate information and answer the toughest questions about GMOs and how our food is grown.
GMO Answers (www.GMOAnswers.com) is a new conversation, public Q&A, and central online resource for information on 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," Cathleen Enright, Ph.D., spokesperson for GMO Answers, said. "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. We want people to join us and ask their tough questions. Be skeptical. 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. Having grown up on a small farm and spent much of my life in academia I can relate to the issues on several levels. I've offered to address questions submitted to GMO Answers openly, based on my personal insights, experience and research," Professor Martina Newell-McGloughlin, director, International Biotechnology Program, University of California Davis said. "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."
GMO Answers is produced by the members of The Council for Biotechnology Information, which includes BASF, Bayer CropScience, Dow AgroSciences LLC, DuPont, Monsanto Company and Syngenta. Together, their commitment to openness and access to information is outlined in the GMO Answers five core principles:
* Respecting people around the world and their right to choose healthy food products that are best for themselves and their families
* Welcoming and answering questions on all GMO topics
* Making GMO information, research and data easy to access and evaluate and supporting safety testing of GM products, including allowing independent safety testing of our products by 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 non-GM seeds based on market demands
"We are inviting questions and providing accurate information about GMOs. Go to GMOAnswers.com today and submit your questions. Scientists, health and safety professionals, farmers, and other independent experts are excited to share their answers," Enright said. "In addition to collecting questions online, we will be conducting a nationwide survey to find out the top 10 questions consumers have about GMOs, then we will answer them publicly. We hope to be a reliable resource on how our food is grown."
For more information or to ask your questions visit www.GMOAnswers.com.