News Feature | March 21, 2014

Plant Biotechnology Organization Unveils Site To Answer Common Consumer Questions

By Liisa Vexler

The Council for Biotechnology Information, and its new website GMO Answers, aims to all questions from consumers about the biotechnology in food. The plant biotechnology industry, which until now has not been known for addressing consumer concerns, is attempting to become more transparent with its new project.

“The industry understands that questions have gone unanswered for a long time and wants to do a better job of answering them in order to be transparent and help consumers come to their own conclusions on GMOs,” said an informed source intimate with project details.

Since July 2013, GMO Answers has compiled and responded to approximately 500 consumer questions, and it’s now moving to answer the top questions identified in a recent national survey about genetic engineering of plants.

Ipsos, a global market research firm, conducted the national survey to identify the top 10 questions from Americans over the age of 18 on the subject of GMOs and how biotechnology plays a role in the agricultural industry.

In the coming weeks, scientists, farmers, physicians and other experts in the field will be responding to the top 10 questions for GMO Answers on the website and via Twitter.

The following are the top 10 questions identified by the survey that will be answered by experts:

  • Do GMOs cause cancer?
  • Are GMOs are causing an increase in allergies?
  • Are big companies are forcing farmers to grow GMOs?
  • Are GMOs are increasing the price of food?
  • Are GMOs are contaminating organic food crops?
  • Why aren’t long-term health studies conducted on GMO plants?
  • Are GMOs causing an increase in the use of pesticides?
  • Why do GMO companies seem like they are so against labeling GMO foods?
  • Are GMOs are contributing to the death of bees and butterflies?
  • If livestock eat genetically modified grain, will there be GMOs in my meat?

Previously, GMO Answers has conducted conversations around other topics causing consumer uncertainty like: If the development of GMOs is unnatural, if GMOs are causing gluten intolerance, if GMOs are contributing to obesity, if GMOs are contributing to infertility, if GMO companies are suing farmers, and if GMOS are contributing to the growth of super weeds.

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