Genetically Modify Food - Related Tags

Genetically Modify Food

December 04, 2014

Genetically modified (GM) foods have been around for decades. Created by modifying the DNA of one organism through the introduction of genes from another, they are developed for a number of different reasons—to fight disease, enhance flavor, resist pests, improve nutrition, survive drought—and are mainly found in our food supply in processed foods using corn, soybeans, and sugar beets, and as feed for farm animals. Across the country and around the world, communities are fighting the cultivation of genetically engineered crops. Are they safe? How do they impact the environment? Can they improve food security? Is the world better off with or without GM food?

Genetically Modified Food: Is it safe? Beneficial? Necessary?

December 03, 2014

Do you eat? Then you have a stake in this debate.

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Genetically Modify Food

December 03, 2014

Genetically modified (GM) foods have been around for decades. Created by modifying the DNA of one organism through the introduction of genes from another, they are developed for a number of different reasons—to fight disease, enhance flavor, resist pests, improve nutrition, survive drought—and are mainly found in our food supply in processed foods using corn, soybeans, and sugar beets, and as feed for farm animals. Across the country and around the world, communities are fighting the cultivation of genetically engineered crops. Are they safe? How do they impact the environment? Can they improve food security? Is the world better off with or without GM food?

Genetically Modify Food

November 20, 2014

From the Panel


  • A Monsanto Exec Takes on the GMO Debate
    John Hockenberry interviews Robert Fraley, The Takeaway, September 24, 2014The conversation itself around GMOs in many ways has become a distraction to the real issues and challenges and conversations we should be having around food security. Because as important as the GMO technology has been, it’s only one tool in an arsenal of many tools that farmers will need.
  • GMOs: Necessary in a Hot and Crowded World?
    Panel Discussion, Climate One, June 11, 2014Robert Fraley, Andrew Kimbrell, Nathaneal Johnson, and Jessica Lundberg gather at the Commonwealth Club to discuss GMOs and related issues in our food system.
  • Let’s Use Organic and GMOs to Feed the World
    Robert Fraley, Huffington Post, updated October 13, 2014The debate over GMOs has tended to sidetrack progress on the development of a common agenda to solving the global food security problem.
  • GMO Foods and the Tooth Fairy
    Robert Fraley, Huffington Post, updated June 14, 2014GMO crops are not just important, but critical, to feeding the world.
  • Humanity Needs Science, Not Ideology
    Robert Fraley, Huffington Post, updated March 18, 2014At some point, proponents of GM crops would hope that the scientific community's endorsement of GM crops would win more mainstream acceptance, as vaccines have. Yet it appears that for some people -- whether the issue is vaccination, GM technology, pasteurization or climate change -- there can never be enough proof.


  • Prevalence and Impacts of Genetically Engineered Feedstuffs on Livestock Populations
    Alison Van Eenennaam and A.E. Young, Journal of Animal Science, October 2014No study has revealed any differences in the nutritional profile of animal products derived from GE-fed animals.
  • Study Monitors Long-Term Impacts of Feeding GM Crops to Livestock
    US Grains Council, September 30, 2014Van Eenennaam, author of recent research published in the Journal of Animal Science, explains the details and impact of her findings in an podcast with the US Grains Council.
  • Ethics of Animal Biotechnology: Should Genetically Engineered Salmon Be Allowed
    Alison Van Eenennaam, Oregon State University, November 28, 2011Van Eenennaam compares conventional and new forms of animal biotechnologies and looks at genetically engineered salmon as a case study.
  • The Potential Impacts of Mandatory Labeling for Genetically Engineered Food in the United States
    CAST Issue paper, April 2014This CAST Issue Paper examines arguments for and against labels, the costs involved with labeling, and experiences in countries that use mandatory labeling.
  • GMOs in Animal Agriculture: Time to Include a Risk: Benefit Analysis in Regulatory Decisions
    Alison Van Eenennaam, Journal of Animal Science and Biotechnology, September 25, 2013Despite the fact that the scientific weight of evidence from these hundreds of studies have not revealed unique risks associated with GE feed, some groups are calling for more animal feeding studies. It is an opportune time to review the results of such studies as have been done to date to evaluate the value of the additional information obtained.
  • The Science and Regulation of Food from Genetically Engineered Animals
    Council for Agricultural Science and Technology (CAST) Commentary, June 2011This Commentary looks at how GE animals are currently regulated and what type of data is needed to demonstrate the safety of GE organisms.

  • Impacts of Genetically Engineered Crops on Pesticide Use in the U.S.—the First Sixteen Years
    Charles Benbrook, Environmental Sciences Europe, September 2012Contrary to often-repeated claims that today’s genetically-engineered crops have, and are reducing pesticide use, the spread of glyphosate-resistant weeds in herbicide-resistant weed management systems has brought about substantial increases in the number and volume of herbicides applied.
  • GE Crop Risk Assessment Challenges: An Overview
    Charles Benbrook, Food Safety News, May 6, 2013More independent testing of GE crop safety is needed to (a) resolve lingering uncertainty over the safety of the GE traits currently on the market, and (b) develop advanced testing methods and protocols for application in the testing of future GE food traits.
  • Biotechnology
    Charles Benbrook and Pamela Ronald, Economist DebatesRonald and Benbrook debate the proposition, “This house believes that biotechnology and sustainable agriculture are complementary, not contradictory.”
  • Down to Earth: Q&A with Pesticide Policy Expert Charles Benbrook
    Jessica Knoblauch interviews Charles Benbrook, EarthJustice, June 2011With genetically engineered crops, the relatively modest decrease in insecticides is more than made up by the huge increase in herbicides.


  • Is GE Food Safe?
    Sasha Nemecek interviews Margaret Mellon, Organic Consumers AssociationAlthough we have many problems associated with our food system, they are not going to be solved by biotechnology.
  • Seeds of Debate: GMOs and Food
    Museum of Food and Drink RoundtablePanelists address issues of regulation and labeling, the ethics of patenting live organisms, potentially positive applications of genetic engineering, and the appropriate role of the biotechnology industry in the food supply.
  • Forum: The Truth About GMOs
    Margaret Mellon, Boston Review, September 6, 2013Genetic engineering is not a fundamental solution to food and agricultural problems.
  • Important Reports on GE Crops Missed by the Boston Review Magazine Forum
    Margaret Mellon, The Equation, Union of Concerned Scientists, September 16, 2013In response to criticism of several UCS reports, Mellon details their findings and continued importance.
  • Let’s Drop ‘Feed the World’: A Plea to Move Beyond an Unhelpful Phrase
    Margaret Mellon, The Equation, Union of Concerned Scientists, August 30, 2013The phrase conflates the important issues of food production and hunger alleviation.
  • Gene Silencing: New Products and New Risks
    Margaret Mellon, The Equation, Union of Concerned Scientists, June 4, 2013Simplot potatoes are produced through a new kind of GE—gene silencing. Simplot’s version of gene silencing, called Innate™ technology, adds genetic fragments derived from cultivated and wild potatoes, but no genetic material from unrelated organisms.
  • The Trojan Horse of Biotechnology
    Margaret Mellon, The Equation, Union of Concerned Scientists, May 10, 2012Where would we be if we had developed a scientifically sound, integrated weed management system built around crop rotations, tillage systems and cover crops, and sparing use of chemicals over the last 22 years?


  • FOR

  • Why We Will Need Genetically Modified Foods
    David Rotman, MIT Technology Review, December 17, 2013 Biotech crops will have an essential role in ensuring that there’s enough to eat.
  • The Truth About GMOs
    Pamela Ronald, Boston Review, September 6, 2013 Genetically engineered crops currently on the market are as safe to eat and safe for the environment as organic or conventional foods.
  • A New Meta-Analysis on the Farm-Level Impacts of GMOs
    Jonas Kathage, Biology Fortified, November 7, 2014 A new meta-analysis provide evidence of the positive agronomic and economic impacts of GMOs. Also, visit Biology Fortified’s GENERA, a searchable database of research on genetically engineered crops.

  • Statement: No Scientific Consensus on GMO Safety
    European Network of Scientists for Social and Environmental Responsibility, October 21, 2013 We strongly reject claims by GM seed developers and some scientists, commentators, and journalists that there is a ‘scientific consensus’ on GMO safety and that the debate on this topic is ‘over.’
  • GMO Myths and Truths, 2nd Edition
    John Fagan, Michael Antoniou, and Claire Robinson, Earth Open Source, 2014 A document providing evidence to refute claims that there is no science behind the case against genetically modifying food, and to refute inflated claims in favor of GM corps.
  • Genetic Engineering Benefits: Promise vs. Performance
    Union of Concerned Scientists It's true that GE has provided some real benefits to farmers—but those benefits have fallen far short of making a convincing case that GE will be a key component of a sustainable long-term approach to agriculture in the United States. See links to studies from UCS: Failure to Yield, No Sure Fix, and High and Dry.


Alison Van Eenennaam

October 15, 2014

Alison Van Eenennaam is a genomics and biotechnology researcher and cooperative extension specialist in the Department of Animal Science at University of California, Davis. She received a Bachelor of Agricultural Science from the University of Melbourne, and an MS in Animal Science and a PhD in Genetics from UC Davis. The mission of her extension program is “to provide research and education on the use of animal genomics and biotechnology in livestock production systems.” Her outreach program focuses on the development of science-based educational materials, including the controversial biotechnologies of genetic engineering (GE) and cloning. She has served on several national committees including the USDA National Advisory Committee on Biotechnology and 21st Century Agriculture, and as a temporary voting member of the 2010 FDA Veterinary Medicine Advisory Committee meeting on the AquAdvantage salmon. Van Eenennaam was the recipient of the 2014 Borlaug CAST Communication Award.

Robert Fraley

August 29, 2014

Dr. Robert Fraley is executive vice president and chief technology officer at Monsanto. He has been with Monsanto for over 30 years, and currently oversees the company’s global technology division which includes plant breeding, biotechnology, and crop protection research facilities in dozens of countries. Fraley has authored more than 100 publications and patent applications. In 2013, he was honored as a World Food Prize Laureate. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including the 2008 National Academy of Sciences Award for the Industrial Application of Science for his work on crop improvement and the National Medal of Technology from President Clinton in 1999.

Margaret Mellon

August 29, 2014

Margaret Mellon is a science policy consultant in the areas of antibiotics, genetic engineering and sustainable agriculture. She holds a doctorate in molecular biology and a law degree from the University of Virginia. In 1993, Mellon founded the Food and Environment Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists to promote the adoption of science-based farming systems that are simultaneously productive, environmentally benign, and resilient in the face of stress. The program critically evaluated products of genetic engineering for their contribution to sustainable agriculture and urged the reduction of unnecessary antibiotic use in animal agriculture. After almost 20 years, Mellon stepped down as head of the program in 2012 and, after two additional years as a senior scientist, left UCS in 2014. Mellon has published widely on the potential environmental impacts of biotechnology applications, and served three terms on the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Advisory Committee on Biotechnology and 21st Century Agriculture.

Charles Benbrook

April 25, 2012

Charles Benbrook is a research professor at the Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources, Washington State University, and program leader of Measure to Manage: Farm and Food Diagnostics for Sustainability and Health. His career has focused on developing science-based systems for evaluating the public health, environmental, and economic impacts of changes in agricultural systems, technology, and policy. He spent the first 18 years of his career working in Washington, D.C., first for the Executive Office of the President, then as the staff director for a U.S. House of Representatives agricultural subcommittee. He was the ED of the National Academy of Sciences Board on Agriculture, and has run a small consulting firm since 1991. He moved to the west in 1997, and served as the chief scientist for The Organic Center from 2004-2012. Benbrook has served as an appointed member on the USDA’s AC 21 agricultural biotechnology advisory committee since 2011. His 2012 peer-reviewed study documenting the big increase in herbicide use triggered by the planting of genetically engineered crops in the U.S. has been downloaded over 110,000 times.

Charles Benbrook has also participated in:

Organic Food Is Marketing Hype - Against