GMO in the Know – August 2nd, 2013
A wrap-up of GMO-related headlines and developments.
Initial field trials of genetically engineered oranges have started in Central Florida, after a citrus company discovered they were able to establish resistance to a disease known as “citrus greening” by inserting a specific gene from spinach into the plants. However, with growing consumer demand for food transparency, biotech pioneers worry about consumer acceptance of new GE products.
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 new website, www.GMOAnswers.com, serves as a platform to “welcome and answer questions about GMOs”, yet does nothing to give consumers the tools they need in order to identify GE ingredients in common food products.
On the heels of neighboring Northeast states, New York is now discussing greater food transparency for its residents. For the first time in 13 years, a GE labeling bill has made its way to the Consumer Affairs and Protection Committee, with Connecticut lawmakers urging New York’s legislature to pass it, as Connecticut’s new law will not take affect until four neighboring states pass similar legislation.
From nationwide polling to more than two dozen state level campaigns, it is evident that the majority of Americans support mandatory labeling of genetically engineered foods. Such unanimous public opinion is rare; yet the biotech industry continues to turn to bigger and better PR campaigns, instead of addressing the issue at hand. “The American public won’t be fooled by a website or a PR campaign,” said Andrew Kimbrell, Executive Director of the Center for Food Safety.”