GMO Answers tackles Top 10 consumer questions
GMO Answers, an initiative committed to creating conversations about GMOs and food production, conducted a national survey earlier this year and has been answering a question a week online at gmoanswers.com.
“Eight out of 10 folks surveyed wanted to know if GMOs were linked to cancer.” said GMO Answers spokeswoman Dr. Cathleen Enright. Enright is executive vice president of food and agriculture for the Biotechnology Industry Organization, the world’s largest biotechnology trade association.
Other questions in the Top 10 are related to allergies; farmers’ ability to choose genetically modified or non-modified seed for their crops; GMOs’ relationship to the price of food; and proposed mandatory labeling of GMO food products. GMO Answers sought information from scientists, doctors, farmers and professionals in other relevant fields.
“Do GMOs cause cancer?” was addressed by Dr. Kevin Folta, interim chairman and associate professor in the University of Florida’s Horticultural Sciences Department. He said there is “absolutely zero reputable evidence that GMO foods cause cancer.”
GMO Answers also cites a study published in 2012 in Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology that reviewed seven cohort studies and 14 case studies and found “no consistent pattern or positive associations indicating a causal relationship between total cancer or any site-specific cancer and exposure to glyphosate.” Glyphosate is an herbicide commonly used on some GMO crops.
GMO Answers launched its website in July 2013 because opposition to GMOs has become more vocal and more effective in creating anti-GMO sentiment. This past winter, Enright spoke at the American Farm Bureau Federation Annual Convention, where she said food production using GMO seeds is critical to global food security. “If we don’t make multiple yield gains, we won’t have enough food” when the world’s population increases to 9 billion by 2050, she said.
Between 1996 and 2012, 17.3 million farmers planted genetically modified seeds on 420 million acres in 28 different countries.