Experts Express Confidence in the Safety of Genetically Modified Foods

Proven 10-year history of safe use supports conclusion the regulatory process has been successful.

St. Louis, MO (PRWEB) June 4, 2007

More thoroughly studied, regulated and understood than any crop or food in history, genetically modified foods and crops are recognized by experts and regulatory authorities worldwide as being as safe as crops and foods produced through traditional methods. In fact, experts estimate more than 1 trillion meals containing ingredients from biotech crops have been consumed over the last decade with no reliable documentation of any food safety issues for people or animals.

"As a scientist working with biotechnology, I know the scientific side - all the advantages and possibilities," says Dr. Luciana Di Ciero, a plant pathologist at the University of São Paulo in Brazil who has carefully evaluated the pros and cons of genetic engineering. "As a mother, I can say that I feel very safe with biotechnology. ... I have great faith in this technology."

Dr. Di Ciero is one of eight renowned experts and three farmers worldwide who discuss the safety of genetically modified foods and crops in a new video and podcast available on the Conversations about Plant Biotechnology Web site at http://www.monsanto.com/biotech-gmo. The video captures their confidence in the process used to ensure the safe development of genetically modified crops and the safety of genetically engineered food.

"The EPA, and the USDA, and the Food and Drug Administration have a very precise protocol through which a scientist or a private company needs to go to assure safety," describes Dr. Roger Beachy, a plant pathologist and president of the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center in the United States. "The degree of scrutiny that each variety will receive is enormous."

The experts featured in the video are a representation of the more than 25 Nobel Prize winners and 3,400 prominent scientists that have expressed their support for the advantages of genetically modified foods and crops as a "powerful and safe" way to improve agriculture and the environment. Numerous international organizations also have endorsed the health and environmental safety of genetically modified crops, including the Royal Society (UK), National Academy of Sciences (USA), the World Health Organization, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the European Commission, the French Academy of Medicine, and the American Medical Association.

"Every minute that we sit here, 10 preschool children will die from hunger and malnutrition. … If you add that up on an annual basis, it's about six million preschool kids who die unnecessarily. … That's not reversible," comments Dr. Per Pinstrup-Andersen, an agricultural economist and H.E. Babcock Professor of Food, Nutrition and Public Policy at Cornell University. "So, we have to compare the benefits with the risks. And even if there were some risks - and we haven't found any yet - … they would have to be compared to the benefit of taking that risk."

In addition to this video on the safety of genetically modified foods, visitors to the Conversations about Plant Biotechnology Web site can view videos about the documented benefits of agricultural biotechnology and view individual conversations with approximately 10 experts and more than 30 farmers who discuss their experiences with the technology.

Conversations about Plant Biotechnology is designed to give a voice and a face to the farmers and families who grow GM crops and the experts who research and study the benefits of biotechnology in agriculture. The Web site contains nearly 60 two- to three-minute, extremely candid, straightforward and compelling video segments with the people who know the technology best. The Web site is hosted by Monsanto Company -- a leading global provider of technology-based solutions and agricultural products that improve farm productivity and food quality.

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