NAS Reaffirms Safety and Benefits of GMOs

Kelly MarshallAg Group, ASA, GMO, NCGA, Research

National Academy of ScienceThe National Academy of Sciences has released (yet another) report reaffirming the safety and benefits of GMO crops.  Not surprisingly this report has lead to a flurry of reactions across multiple social media platforms, both positive and negative.  Agricultural groups are also responding.  From the American Soybean Association and the National Corn Growers Association to the Coalition for Safe and Affordable Food, agriculture is praising the report that helps clear confusion surrounding this topic.

The report covers several topics of concern to consumers; the health and safety of GMOs for people and animals, the benefits to the environment and economic impacts of the technology.

“Today, the National Academy of Sciences reaffirmed what health and safety officials have confirmed for two decades: GMOs are safe,” says ASA President Richard Wilkins.  “The scientists at the Academy also confirmed what we as farmers also have known for 20 years – that GMOs provide significant benefits for producers. They help us manage pests, weeds and reduce on-farm inputs, and they do it with absolutely zero risk to people or animals. This is an exceptionally in-depth report, and we hope that it will move the dialogue on GMOs to the next chapter.”

The Coalition for Safe Affordable Food (CFSAF) says the findings of the report make passing a bipartisan solution to the labeling law even more urgent.  With Vermont’s GMO labeling law set to take effect on July 1, time is running out to address this critical issue.

“This report validates the arguments of the food and agricultural communities in that it says GMOs are safe for the environment and as ingredients in food, and that mandatory on-pack labeling will have far-reaching negative consequences on our food supply,” said CFSAF spokesperson Claire Parker. “Increased disclosure of ingredient information to consumers through websites, QR code, 1-800 hotline and other platforms provides more information than can ever fit on a label and helps consumers make informed decisions.”

The report also addresses other plant breeding techniques, pointing out the benefits to making sure farmers are allowed to use new technologies.  Farmers can only benefit from science if they have access to it, points out the ASA.

Certainly the debate about GMOs isn’t over.  But the question has unequivocally been answered.