The Food and Drug Administration has a tough job ahead of it, a job that the food and agriculture sectors have struggled to accomplish: Convince the public that biotech crops are safe to eat and can offer a variety of benefits to the public and the environment.
The fiscal 2017 spending bill enacted at the end of April includes $3 million earmarked for FDA to coordinate with the Agriculture Department on a consumer outreach and education effort. The stated goal under the legislation is to educate consumers “on the environmental, nutritional, food safety, economic, and humanitarian impacts of such biotechnology, food products, and feed.”
[S]ome experts believe the right kind of messages from federal regulators could have an impact on public attitudes toward biotechnology. It’s not clear that past communications by federal agencies have had much effect on the public, said Jayson Lusk, an economist at Oklahoma State University who studies what foods people eat and why. But most consumers are uninformed or misinformed about genetic engineered crops, so “subtle changes in working, descriptions of benefits of the technology etc. can be persuasive,” he said. He notes that voter support for state ballot initiatives on GMO labeling dropped considerably after the industry began campaigning against them.
The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: FDA’s tough new task: Explain biotech’s safety, benefits