WASHINGTON, July 29, 2013 – The agricultural biotechnology companies that develop genetically modified seeds — or GMOs — created an online portal to provide information and answer questions about GMOs and agriculture.
The companies describe GMO Answers (www.GMOAnswers.com) as “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.”
Cathleen Enright, Ph.D., spokesperson for GMO Answers, acknowledged that the public discussion and emotions regarding GMOs is significant and growing.
“Food is personal, so we want to open the door for personal discussions,” Enright said. “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.”
Enright said she wants people to use the website to ask their toughest questions. “Be skeptical,” she added. “Evaluate the information and decide for yourself. We look forward to an open conversation.”
Professor Martina Newell-McGloughlin, director of the International Biotechnology Program at University of California Davis said connecting consumers to experts in academia, government and the industry “is absolutely necessary” to advance food and agriculture research necessary to maintain a high-quality food supply.
“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.”
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.
Enright said the companies will collect questions online, as well as conduct a nationwide survey to find the top 10 questions consumers have about GMOs, which the companies will answer publicly.
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