It's natural to care about where our food comes from.
The fact is, biotech crops have been reviewed and tested more than any crop in the history of agriculture and, each time, the result has been the same: they are safe.
Almost two decades in use
Biotech crops were first introduced in 1996. Since then, they have become one of the fastest, most widely adopted agricultural innovations in history. In that time, there has not been one documented case of biotech crops being unsafe for humans or the environment.
How are standards for GM Crop Safety Assesments Established?
There are many highly respected international bodies that develop guidelines to ensure the health of consumers and develop these standards based on the best available science. These agencies include the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), World Health Organization (WHO) and Codex Alimentarius Commission within the WHO. They have developed safety assessments and other guidelines on many food related topics such as vitamin supplements, GMOs, food borne illness, food additives, and pesticide residues.
GM crops undergo safety assessments that are more rigorous and thorough than assessments of any other food crop in history. The safety assessment strategy ensures that new GE crops are developed and tested in accordance with different risk assessment strategies and international safety assessment guidelines such as the following:
Who oversees the approval of biotech crops?
Regulatory agencies around the world develop their own national biosafety laws and frameworks, frequently derived from these international standards.
In the U.S., agricultural biotechnology products are regulated by FDA (Food and Drug Administration), USDA (United States Department of Agriculture), and for insect-protected crops, the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) for Plant-Incorporated Protectants. Data packages are reviewed by these agencies to affirm their safety prior to commercialization. In addition, each of our products has undergone many years of research, field trials and internal approvals before it is submitted for regulatory approval.
To support global trade, safety data also are submitted to authorizing agencies in many countries. As in the United States, in many other nations there is often not just a single regulatory authority, but often several, each with the responsibility of assessing a particular aspect of safety. The extensive safety data are then subjected to review by hundreds of independent risk assessors and scientists across a wide range of disciplines.
Examples of global regulatory frameworks and guidelines are included below:
- European Union:
- United States
Products Are Only Commercialized Once Safety Is Affirmed.
The product development process for GE crops follows a rigorous process for ensuring the safety of the crops as food, as animal feed, and for any affects on the environment. The safety studies performed throughout the development of these crops have contributed to several important conclusions.
Examples of the Data, Submissions, and resulting regulatory assessments that have been compiled for Monsanto’s products can be found here: Product Safety Summaries