Video: Geneticist Pamela Ronald breaks down basics of GMO safety, labeling

| | April 15, 2019
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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.

Name a food preference and you can likely find items in the supermarket aisles to accommodate your wants and needs: low-fat, zero fat, low carb, gluten-free, organic, vegetarian-friendly, vegan, Paleo, Keto. The list goes on.

But no label stirs up quite as much debate as the one bearing these three letters: GMO.

In case you didn’t already know, those letters stand for genetically-modified organisms, referring to organisms — plants in particular — that are biologically engineered with genetic traits from other organisms that wouldn’t cross in nature.

While you won’t see too many products labeled as containing genetically-modified ingredients, you will see plenty proclaiming to be “Non-GMO”.

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Dr. Pamela Ronald sees the “Non-GMO” label as just another “label that people are selling.”

“GMO is meaningless and ‘Non-GMO’ is even more meaningless,” she says. “I prefer labels that are anchored to some kind of meaningful science and inspection.”

Ronald is a proponent of a new label that is coming soon in the U.S. It’s the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard that begins coming into place on January 1, 2020.

Original video: How much do you know about genetically modified food and Non-GMO labels?

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