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GMO controversy is a political debate, not a food safety issue, farmers say

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

According to a recent article in the New York Times, most consumers don’t know or realize that for decades they have been consuming foods that have been developed through bioengineering including crossbreeding, irradiating, and chemically inducing gene mutations to achieve desired characteristics.

According to the Pew Research Center, nearly 40 percent of Americans believe GMOs are bad for their health although this assertion is not supported by scientific research. The data has overwhelmingly concluded that the genetically modified crops on the market are safe for consumption.

Laura Rutherford, a Grafton farm wife who speaks on behalf of GMO sugar beets, said that the bottom line is American food — organic, conventional or GMO — is all safe, and Americans should have confidence in it.

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She said that farmers don’t want the products they work so hard to produce to be unfairly vilified. She noted the GMO issue sometimes is used as a non-tariff trade barrier by the European Union, as it strives to keep its farmers competitive. It’s billed as a food safety issue.

“A lot of times, it’s a fight for market share and a marketing tactic,” she said.

Read full, original article: GMOs are declared safe for consumers in multiple studies

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