Continuing our countdown of GMOAnswers’ expert responses to the top-10 questions consumers have about biotech foods, here are #1-5:
5) Are GMOs contaminating organic food crops?
This is an important issue, and not a new one; neighboring farmers managing different crops and production methods have been going on long before GE crops were introduced. While pollen drift does occur in some instances, low-level presence of a biotech trait is allowed in organic production as long as the proper organic protocols are observed, so the risk to organic growers is minimal. As an aside, for Arctic® apples in particular the risk is even smaller – see Dr. Steve Savage’s recent article for more details.
4) Are GMOs increasing the price of food?
GE crops can actually help keep food prices lower; corn-based products would cost ~6% more and soybean products would cost ~10% more without biotechnology, according to estimates. This is because biotechnology can help enhance yields and reduce production costs. In fact, the real price of food has consistently decreased over the past 50 years due to advances in modern agriculture.
3) Are big companies forcing farmers to grow GMOs?
As farmers themselves will readily tell you, they are not forced into buying seeds from any company and have the freedom to farm whatever and however they choose. There’s also little-to-no truth that farmers don’t have a choice due to contamination and/or cross-pollination, or that they are sued without reason by ag-biotech companies.
2) Are GMOs causing an increase in allergies?
All approved biotech crops must go through an extremely rigorous review process, and allergens are one of the primary things that they are tested for. There are no commercial crops that contain allergens introduced through genetic engineering, so the answer to this question is a resounding “no”!
1) Do GMOs cause cancer?
Per Dr. Kevin Folta, University of Florida interim chairman and associate professor: “The short answer is no, there is absolutely zero reputable evidence that GMO foods cause cancer.” This statement is supported up by over 1,000 studies showing GE crops are as safe as their conventional counterparts, and specific research that examines potential causal relationships between cancer and biotech traits.
This top-10 contains just a fraction of the hundreds of expert answers available on GMOAnswers.com, so check out their website for more and visit our post from last week sharing questions #6-10 if you missed it!