White House taking steps to reassure wary public about GMO safety

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

The White House has a message for America: There’s nothing dangerous about genetically modified food that makes it to your dinner plate.

Even though the vast majority of scientists say that GMOs are safe to eat, genetic modification remains highly controversial. According to a Pew Research Center survey conducted in January, 57 percent of Americans fear that genetically modified foods are unsafe.

The White House is taking steps that may reassure a wary public. It announced that the federal government will improve transparency, coordination, and predictability surrounding GMO regulation in a bid to bolster confidence in the regulatory system. That effort might be enough to change some minds—but only if a skeptical public pays attention.

“If you have better regulation and greater transparency, then I think that will help consumers feel more comfortable with this,” said Greg Jaffe, the director of biotechnology at the Center for Science in the Public Interest, a consumer advocacy nonprofit.

Winning over hearts and minds won’t be easy.

Any successful effort to bridge that gap would need to confront the root causes of the divide. And according to Jayson Lusk, a professor of agriculture at Oklahoma State University, fear over GMOs is largely fueled by a lack of understanding of genetic modification—not concern about government regulation.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. Read full, original post: Can the White House Convince Americans that GMOs Are Safe?

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