GMO labels: will it help consumers better understand what's in their food?
In all forms, fruits and vegetables are inherently nutritious, no matter whether eaten fresh, canned or frozen. In recent years, a number of marketing tactics have presented organic fruits to be safer, based on the premise that they are grown without pesticides. In truth, both organic and conventional farmers use pesticides on their crops.
For the average American consumer, the term "organic" has a positive connotation and the beneficial properties of organic foods may be misinterpreted or exaggerated. Surveys indicate many proponents of organic food production look beyond the final product to consider factors such as environmental impacts, worker safety, and economic considerations, which are not related to organic production standards. U.S. consumers frequently have the choice between purchasing organic and conventional foods and make food purchasing decisions that reflect their values, concerns, and lifestyles.
Dr. Dave Weatherspoon says the following statement is true:
Enhanced food production technology and innovation will be necessary to feed the expanding global population over the next 20 years.
One in every three bites of food you eat is pollinated either directly or indirectly by honey bees. With bees dying at a rapid pace, mentions of colony collapse disorder (CCD) are on the rise. What is CCD? What is causing it? What can be done to ensure bees stop suffering from it? Two experts respond.
While other genetically modified (GM) crops have been approved for planting in the U.S., GM wheat has not, so the discovery of a GM strain of wheat growing in a farm field in Oregon prompted the U.S. Department of Agriculture to investigate. It was confirmed that it was the same herbicide resistant wheat variety that was authorized to be field tested from 1998 to 2005.
Recently, Best Food Facts launched a series of videos about GMOs, which spurred many questions. One question that seemed to be on everyone's mind was the differences between organic and non-organic food. One viewer asked, "Is non-organic food full of chemicals?"
To answer this question, we reached out to Dr. Ruth MacDonald, Chair and Professor of the Department of Food Science & Human Nutrition, Iowa State University.
Through our five-part series on genetically modified foods and GMOs, something we heard a lot about is the consumers’ right-to-know what’s in their food. We think that knowing more about food is a good thing. When our readers and viewers mentioned genetically modified foods should be labeled, that got us to thinking: “What does the perfect food label look like?”
A leading European environmentalist, Mark Lynas, has apologized to the scientific community. He says he was wrong. After working for years to discredit the work of scientists responsible for genetically engineered plants and being a contributor to the anti-GM movement, he has come to the conclusion that, "I was completely wrong to oppose GMOs." Why the change? He says, "I discovered science."
As part of our video series on GMOs, we received two questions in regards to GMOs and their availability in other countries besides the United States.
Best Food Facts recently received a question from Peg about genetic modification of wheat. Peg asked, “I have seen information about wheat that indicates genetic modification was taking place MANY years ago and that our current wheat crops are a result of that modification. Many sources state that there are inherent problems with this wheat. Would you please clarify?”
Best Food Facts recently received a question from Greg Shute on our YouTube video, What Do You Want to Know About GMO Food? GMO Safety. Greg asked, "Why do my children have food alleries and why have food allergies reached epidemic levels since GMO foods have been introduced to our food supply? Could it be that our bodies do NOT digest them just as unmodified foods and that a significant proportion of the population is now having their bodies view many of the foods as foreign substances? Why is Europe not seeing the numbers of food allergies that the USA is seeing?"