The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) launched a new education initiative called “Feed Your Mind” to help consumers better understand genetically engineered foods, commonly called GMOs or genetically modified organisms.
The initiative was developed with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to provide consumers with science-based educational information to better understand how GMOs are made, learn more about the types of crops that have been modified, address questions they may have about the health and safety of GMOs as well as explain how GMOs are regulated in the U.S.
“Feed Your Mind” features a wide range of resources designed specifically for consumers, health care professionals and students. These materials feature new web content, fact-sheets and videos using common language, engaging graphics and stories to provide information about genetically engineered foods, including information about the history of genetic modifications in agriculture. This initiative is an on-going effort, with additional materials such as a professional learning series for dietitians and supplementary science curriculum for high schools planned for release later in 2020 and 2021.
“Feed Your Mind” materials are based on extensive formative research. To guide development of the initiative, FDA, UDSA and EPA:
- Sought input from stakeholders through two public meetings;
- Opened a docket to receive public comments;
- Conducted more than 40 focus groups selected to represent the diverse backgrounds of consumers around the country; and
- Consulted experts in agricultural biotechnology, education and communication.
Funding for “Feed Your Mind” was provided by Congress in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2017 as the Agricultural Biotechnology Education and Outreach Initiative to provide consumers science-based educational information on the environmental, nutritional, food safety, economic, and humanitarian impacts of foods derived from agricultural biotechnology techniques, such as genetic engineering.