Farmers need better communication with public on GMO issues

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

Farmers and ranchers are honest men and women who have been known to seal a deal just with a handshake. But to connect with today’s consumers on issues like genetically modified organisms they need to be more than honest—they need to be transparent. Farmers can improve transparency by forming relationships with consumers and explaining how and why they use GMO crops.

“It is unfortunate that the whole conversation around GMOs has disintegrated into a discussion about on-pack labeling,” said Charlie Arnot, chief executive officer at the Center for Food Integrity. “Because what consumers are looking for is information that is much more meaningful to them. Our research has shown consumers are more interested in ingredients and the impact they will have on the relationship between diet and health. They don’t necessarily agree that GMOs qualify in that category,” Arnot said.

Another problem with on-pack labels is the fact that not every group of consumers is concerned about GMOs. Some consumers are concerned about sustainability, others about farm labor issues, animal welfare or carbon footprint. It is not possible to put information for all of those concerns on one label.

How do we embrace the consumers right to know, which is important to transparency, and still make it workable for the entire food system? The Internet and social media may be the answer.

According to research by the Center for Food Integrity, consumers don’t want mandatory labeling. They want simplicity, clarity and guidance. Consumers are looking for simple information that is clear, understandable and helps them to make informed decisions.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. Read full, original postBe more than honest

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