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Going non-GMO often means returning to less environmentally friendly food production system

| | July 14, 2014
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

When consumers think about GMOs, they tend to contrast them with “some hypothetical alternative food that is pristine”, when in most cases, going ‘non-GMO’ just means returning to a food production system that is less efficient – and worse for the environment – said experts at a public hearing on biotechnology.

Indeed, if big companies go non-GMO, they won’t all convert to organic supply chains, but will instead source ingredients from firms producing crops via conventional agricultural techniques – the failings of which prompted the development of GM crops in the first place, one professor told a House of Representatives subcommittee.

But when consumers understand the actual choices on a case-by-case basis, rather than the generic mythical ones (dangerous + artificial vs safe + all-natural) they weigh up their options differently, said David R. Just, Ph.D., Professor and director of the Center for Behavioral Economics in Child Nutrition Programs at Cornell University.

“Generally, when consumers consider GMOs, they tend to regard them in comparison to some hypothetical alternative food that is pristine and presents no perceived health risk,” he told the House subcommittee on Horticulture, Research, Biotechnology, and Foreign Agriculture.

Read the full, original article: Professor: What exactly is this mythical ‘pristine’ alternative to GMOs that presents no risks?

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