GMO Awareness Month:

US: Ag Biotech companies encourage consumers to seek answers

During GMO Awareness Month this October, the agricultural biotechnology companies that created GMO Answers (www.GMOAnswers.com) are encouraging consumers to visit the website and join the online conversation.

October marks more than two months since the launch of GMO Answers, a central online resource for information on GMOs and how our food is grown.



"GMO Answers gives consumers an opportunity to ask questions about GMOs and get answers from the very people who grow our food, and research and promote its health and safety - farmers, scientists, health experts, nutritionists and others. And consumers are responding to our initiative. So far, visitors have submitted more than 500 questions on topics ranging from human health and environmental impact to labeling," Cathleen Enright, Ph.D., spokesperson for GMO Answers, said.

"We look forward to answering more questions and giving consumers the facts about the food they eat."

GMO Answers launched in July and will use GMO Awareness Month to build on that momentum and ongoing commitment to responding to the toughest questions. Consumers want to know more about their food and where it comes from.

Recently, GMO Answers commissioned an online, national survey with general consumers and a subset of food-engaged consumers to find out what they know and what they want to know. Respondents self-identified as being interested in issues such as food sourcing, environmental footprint, and GMOs.

While the survey found that many are concerned about GMO use on farms, it was clear that consumers have a growing desire for more information about what GMOs really are and how they're used.

Specifically, the survey found that:

  • •Almost half (49%) of respondents said they would not be able to define what a GMO is, if asked.
  • •Only eight GM crops are commercially available in the US today (corn, soybeans, cotton, canola, alfalfa, sugar beets, papaya, and squash), but 83% of respondents said they thought there were ten or more.
  • •While 58% of respondents do worry that food produced with GMOs is less safe than other types of food, 60% still believe that GMO foods are at least as nutritious as non-GMO alternatives.

"We know consumers have questions about GMOs. We hope that GMO Awareness month encourages more people to seek out information on what GMOs are, why farmers choose them and what the science says about health and safety," Enright concluded. "GMO Answers is the open and accessible place to ask questions, get answers and find information."

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