At-A-Glance: Our View on Food Labeling
- The safety of our products is our first priority, and multiple health societies, hundreds of independent scientific experts and dozens of governments around the world have determined that foods and ingredients developed through biotechnology [or genetic modification (GM)] are safe.
- Each country establishes its own food labeling laws. Within the United States, the government has established clear guidance with respect to labeling food products containing GM ingredients; we support this approach. We also support food companies’ choices to voluntarily label food products noting certain attributes (e.g., organic) based on their customers’ preferences and provided the labeling is truthful and not misleading.
- We oppose current initiatives to mandate labeling of ingredients developed from GM seeds in the absence of any demonstrated risks. Such mandatory labeling could imply that food products containing these ingredients are somehow inferior to their conventional or organic counterparts.
Monsanto’s Role in Food Production
Food production starts with a seed, and this is where much of Monsanto’s business is focused. We produce a wide variety of seeds, including conventional and biotech (or GM) seeds for all types and sizes of farms around the world.
As an agricultural company, we are proud to serve our farmer customers, who grow high-quality crops that contribute to a safe, healthful and sustainable food supply. We believe farmers and consumers should have a broad range of product choices in the marketplace.
We recognize some are interested in biotechnology’s role in agriculture and our food supply, as well as its safety and benefits. We are committed to continuing to share this information. Over the last two decades, seeds improved through biotechnology have become the preferred choice of millions of farmers globally because of their benefits. We label all of our seed products because it ensures that farmers are aware of what they buy and plant.
The safety of our products is our first priority, and the safety of biotech crops is well-established. We agree with the conclusions of multiple health societies, hundreds of independent scientific experts and dozens of governments around the world who have determined that food ingredients and products made from biotech crops are as safe as their conventional counterparts.
Viewpoints on Labeling GM Foods and Ingredients in the United States
Consumers are increasingly interested in agriculture and in understanding how food is produced. As a company involved in one of the first steps of food production, we are one of many stakeholders involved in the dialogue about labeling.
Within the United States, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) oversees food labeling. FDA guidance requires labeling of food products containing ingredients from GM seed if there is a meaningful difference between that food and its conventional counterpart. The American Medical Association (AMA) supports FDA’s approach and approved a formal statement asserting that there is no scientific justification for special labeling of foods containing GM ingredients.
We agree with the AMA and support FDA’s guidance on labeling food products containing GM ingredients. We oppose mandatory labeling of food and ingredients developed from GM seeds in the absence of any demonstrated risks, as it could be interpreted as a warning or imply that food products containing these ingredients are somehow inferior to their conventional or organic counterparts.
FDA allows food manufacturers the choice to voluntarily label their products noting certain attributes or production methods (e.g., organic) provided the label is truthful and not misleading. We support this approach. Food companies are in the best position to determine what type of information meets the needs and desires of their customers.
A Range of Available Product Choices
Many labeled certified organic or non-GM products are available for consumers who prefer to consume them, consistent with their personal preferences. These varied offerings provide additional choices for all consumers and avoid the potential of misleading the public with mandated labeling that raises concerns about the quality, safety or healthfulness of the products they have come to know and trust.
Position Statements and Reports
Expert Videos on Frequently Asked Questions about Food Biotechnology, including labeling
Updated: March 2013