What Independent Experts are Saying about GM Crops

Independent experts and scientific organizations worldwide stand behind the safety and are supportive of the use of GM crops. This section provides a few quotes and links to comments from various individuals and organizations.


Health and Wellness Organizations

 

“The science is quite clear: crop improvement by the modern molecular techniques of biotechnology is safe.”

“The World Health Organization, the American Medical Association, the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, the British Royal Society, and every other respected organization that has examined the evidence has come to the same conclusion: consuming foods containing ingredients derived from GM crops is no riskier than consuming the same foods containing ingredients from crop plants modified by conventional plant improvement techniques.”

“Civilization rests on people’s ability to modify plants to make them more suitable as food, feed and fiber plants and all of these modifications are genetic.”

- American Association for the Advancement of Science, October 2012


“Bioengineered foods have been consumed for close to 20 years, and during that time, no overt consequences on human health have been reported and/or substantiated in the peer-reviewed literature.”

- American Medical Association, 2012


“GM foods currently available on the international market have passed risk assessments and are not likely to present risks for human health. In addition, no effects on human health have been shown as a result of the consumption of such foods by the general population in the countries where they have been approved.”

- World Health Organization, 2013


“…the study committee found no substantiated evidence of a difference in risks to human health between currently commercialized genetically engineered (GE) crops and conventionally bred crops, nor did it find conclusive cause-and-effect evidence of environmental problems from the GE crops.”

- U.S. National Academy of Sciences, 2016


“Foods derived from GM crops have been consumed by hundreds of millions of people across the world for more than 15 years, with no reported ill effects (or legal cases related to human health), despite many of the consumers coming from that most litigious of countries, the USA.”

- Royal Society of Medicine, 2008


“Far from presenting a threat to the public health, GM crops in many cases improve it. The ASCB vigorously supports research and development in the area of genetically engineered organisms, including the development of genetically modified (GM) crop plants.”

- American Society of Cell Biology, 2009

 

 

People of Interest

“Any private company has the right to require its suppliers to meet labeling standards it chooses to set, and consumers have a right to know what’s in the food they are buying. But there is no reliable evidence that genetically modified foods now on the market pose any risk to consumers.”

- NY Times Editorial Board, 2013


"The world faces a choice, by spending a relatively little amount of money on proven solutions, we can help poor farmers feed themselves and their families and continue writing the story of a steadily more equitable world. Or we can decide to tolerate a very different world in which one in seven people needlessly lives on the edge of starvation."

- Bill Gates, 2012


“The resilience we need for the future will be delivered by smart plant breeding – and that’s all GM is.”

- British Parliament member, George Freeman in Forbes article, 2012


“The people believe there is something unsafe with this technology whereas, in fact, it’s safer than the conventional technology it superseded. People believe that there is some environmental harm implicit in genetic engineering, and the reality is it can be used very powerful to benefit the environment.”

- British environment campaigner Mark Lynas (formerly anti-GMO), Business Mirror article, 2013

 

 

Industry/Academia

“Use of biotech plants can produce more food on less land, by reducing the amount of crops lost to disease and pests. It can reduce CO2 emissions from the farming process, the amount of pesticides used to produce foods, and in the future, the amount of water needed to grow crops.”

“According IFIC’s 2008 Food Biotechnology: A Study of US Consumer Trends, the majority (53 percent) of consumers have neutral impressions of plant biotechnology.”

“Based on strong scientific evidence and consensus among a broad representation of scientific and governmental bodies, there is no known food safety concern related to consuming food produced through biotechnology. A number of food and health organizations such as the American Medical Association and the Institute of Food Technologists recognize and support the use of food biotechnology.”

- International Food Information Council Foundation, 2013


“Foods derived from GM crops have undergone more testing than any other food in history. Before entering the marketplace, they are assessed using guidelines issued by several international scientific agencies such as the World Health Organization, the Food and Agriculture Organization, and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.”

“Foods derived from GM plants are safe. Major issues and safety concerns on the biosafety of foods derived from GM plants have been addressed. International agencies such as the Food and Agriculture Organization, World Health Organization, the European Commission, the French Academy of Medicine, the American Medical Association, and the American Society of Toxicology have reviewed these health issues and have come to an agreement that GM foods are safe for human health.”

- International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications, 2009


"There is broad scientific consensus that genetically engineered crops currently on the market are safe to eat. After 14 years of cultivation and a cumulative total of 2 billion acres planted, no adverse health or environmental effects have resulted from commercialization of genetically engineered crops."

- Pamela Ronald, UC-Davis plant geneticist, Scientific American article, 2011


“Improvements in water quality could prove to be the largest single benefit of GE crops, the report says. Insecticide use has declined since GE crops were introduced, and farmers who grow GE crops use fewer insecticides and herbicides that linger in soil and waterways.”

“In many cases, farmers who have adopted the use of GE crops have either lower production costs or higher yields, or sometimes both, due to more cost-effective weed and insect control and fewer losses from insect damage, the report says.”

- National Academy of Sciences, 2010


“The guys who developed [Golden Rice] did it for the right reasons. They really were outraged by micronutrient deficiencies. They were out there in the rice paddies and in the villages. Every one of the Rockefeller Foundation meetings was in the developing world, and we were out there, learning things with these people.”

- Richard Jefferson, CEO of Cambia, article in Grist.org, 2013


“The other thing [opponents are] concerned about is, what is it doing to you? There’s this idea that somehow wild crop plants are more natural or better for you, and that’s completely untrue.”

- George Chuck, UC-Berkeley scientist, Daily Californian article, 2013


“[GM technology] is actually an environmentally friendly technology that reduces the chemical load. We’ve seen that in spades in China and India where they’ve adopted GM cotton, and its reduced farmer deaths from pesticide poisoning, and it’s really helped the environment over there. And I think you’re right. The average consumer is unaware of the environmental benefits. You only hear about the possible environmental risks.”

- Colin Carter, Professor of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Univ. of California, Davis, Interview with Institute of Food Technologists, 2012


“The Institute of Food Science & Technology issued a statement saying genetic modification can significantly improve the quantity and quality of the world’s food supply.”

- Institute of Food Science & Technology, 2008

 

 

Regulatory

“Foods from genetically engineered plants must meet the same requirements, including safety requirements, as foods from traditionally bred plants. FDA has a consultation process that encourages developers of genetically engineered plants to consult with FDA before marketing their products. This process helps developers determine the necessary steps to ensure their food products are safe and lawful. The goal of the consultation process is to ensure that any safety or other regulatory issues related to a food product are resolved before commercial distribution. Foods from genetically engineered plants intended to be grown in the United States that have been evaluated by FDA through the consultation process have not gone on the market until the FDA’s questions about the safety of such products have been resolved.”

- U.S. Food and Drug Administration, 2013


“Driven by farmers' expectations of higher crop yields and/or lower production costs, management time savings, and other benefits, the rate at which U.S. farmers adopt genetically engineered (GE) crop varieties continues to increase.”

- U.S. Department of Agriculture, 2013


“The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) work to ensure that crops produced through genetic engineering for commercial use are properly tested and studied to make sure they pose no significant risk to consumers or the environment.”

“To put these considerations in perspective, it is useful to note that while the particular biotech traits being used are often new to crops in that they often do not come from plants (many are from bacteria and viruses), the same basic types of traits often can be found naturally in most plants. These basic traits, like insect and disease resistance, have allowed plants to survive and evolve over time.”

- U.S. Department of Agriculture, 2013


“GM crops have been subject to more testing worldwide than any other new crops, and have been declared as safe as conventionally bred crops by scientific and food safety authorities worldwide.”

- AGRA, 2013