Biotech Releases GMO Website: Consumers Still Need Labels
This week, a group of biotech companies, including Monsanto, Dupont and Dow, released a new website about genetically engineered foods, in response to a growing number of consumers demanding to know more about the foods they eat. The website, www.GMOAnswers.com, serves as a platform to “welcome and answer questions about GMOs.”
The Just Label It campaign believes this website is an inadequate attempt for greater transparency, as it does nothing to give consumers the tools they need to identify genetically engineered ingredients. Nowhere on the website can a consumer see which products in our supermarkets contain GE ingredients, something labeling would make accessible.
The website also promotes a number of misleading claims, such as the controversial amount of chemicals used on GE crops. While the website highlights a reduction of pesticide use over the past two decades, they fail to recognize that herbicide use has skyrocketed, increasing more than 11% or 527 million lbs., since 1996. Additionally, while promoting extensive research behind GE foods and their effects, the website fails to recognize that the majority of these studies are industry-funded, and fail to take an un-biased look or address the long-term effects of these foods.
“We urge these companies to meet consumer demands and label genetically engineered foods,” said Scott Faber, Executive Director of Just Label It. “Without labels, consumers continue to be left in the dark every time they go to the grocery store, and lack the information they need to make conscious choices about the food they buy.”
More than 93% of Americans support mandatory labeling of genetically engineered foods. This year, 26 states have introduced legislation for labeling of GE foods, a right already held by citizens in 64 countries around the world that require mandatory labeling of GE foods.