Top 10 Consumer Questions About GMOs – Part 1

Earlier this year GMO Answers, a website devoted to answering questions about biotech foods and providing reputable resources on the subject, released a list of the top 10 questions submitted by consumers. These questions were determined via a U.S. nationwide poll, and answers were gathered from scientists, doctors and other reputable experts.

Now, a top-10 list with a few paragraphs answering each question about biotech foods may already be fairly “digestible” (ahem…) but if the developers of nonbrowning Arctic® apples know one thing, it’s that people value as much convenience as possible! So, without further ado, here are our ultra-concise, two-sentence summaries of the experts’ answers to questions #6-10, with #1-5 to follow next week:

10)  If livestock eat genetically modified grain, will there be GMOs in my meat?

Nope – biotech crops are digested by animals just the same as conventional crops. Plus, genetically engineered DNA and/or the novel proteins expressed in these crops have never been detected in the products derived from animals fed biotech feed.

9)  Are GMOs contributing to the death of bees and butterflies?

The mainstream science community agrees there’s no evidence suggesting biotech crops harm bees (they can even help by reducing insecticide use). While the declining numbers of milkweed plants is one factor that can lead to butterfly losses, and herbicide misuse contributes to that habitat loss, independent and government experts both agree that GMOs do not harm butterflies directly.

8)  Why are companies against labeling GMO foods?

In the U.S., the FDA requires labeling of food that “differs from its conventional counterpart in a meaningful way…” To require labels for GE foods that do not fit this description provides no useful information to consumers and can create a misleading stigma suggesting they may be dangerous or less healthy, which isn’t the case.GMOAnswers - Pesticides

7)  Are GMOs causing an increase in pesticides?

Actually the opposite is true, as overall, pesticide applications have decreased largely due to insect-resistant crops. Farmers would certainly not adopt biotech crops so readily if they required more pesticides, as in addition to potential environmental impact, pesticide applications cost farmers a great deal of time and money.

6)  Why aren’t long-term health studies conducted on GMO plants?

Not only have long-term studies been conducted, biotech foods have also been on the market for 17 years, with over three trillion meals containing biotech ingredients consumed, and there have been zero documented safety issues. Nearly two-thousand studies on GMO safety have been performed, including many with independent funding.

Be sure to check out for more information on these, or other GMO-related topics, and revisit our blog next week for questions #1-5!


  1. Anne

    Farmers using GMO crops that result in less weeds are a win for the farmer, but without a specific weed, the population of Monarch butterflies is falling.

    This butterfly needs the weed Milkweed to lay its eggs, and the caterpillar eats the leaves.

    Fact 9 should be truthful and admit this.

    If it is afecting butterfly populations how can it no be afecting bees?

    Bees are all important as they polinate and without them food sources would be far fewer, like dangerously low.

    • Joel

      Hi Anne,

      That’s absolutely correct that the reduction of available milkweed is a factor in butterfly populations, and that is a very important point made in the full explanation on GMOAnswers. The point here, though, is that GMOs do not harm butterflies or bees directly.

      Lower numbers of milkweed plants is a complex issue, and herbicide use and loss of habitat is one piece of the puzzle – but it is not specific to GMOs. Andrew Kniss, a weed ecologist and associate professor at the University of Wyoming, has a great article that tackles this topic head-on.

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