National Academy of Sciences Urges Greater GMO Transparency

WASHINGTON – Today’s National Academy of Sciences report on genetically engineered foods takes a major policy step in calling on the food and agriculture industries to increase transparency regarding GMO foods, EWG said.

EWG Senior Vice President for Government Affairs Scott Faber said in a statement:

Today’s report by the National Academy of Sciences confirms the importance of transparency and the need for mandatory GMO labeling.

Without mandatory GMO labeling, the NAS report’s authors note, “consumers would not know whether the product contained GE ingredients and so would be deprived of the ability to make an informed choice about each product. Mandatory labeling provides the opportunity for consumers to make their own personal risk-benefit decisions.” 

The report also confirms the need to modernize the GMO regulatory system to better assess the risks posed by rising use of the pesticide glyphosate and to give regulators the power to “require controls” if GMO crops and their associated chemicals pose public health or environmental problems. 

The report confirms that to date, GMO crops have not increased actual yields and should not be exclusively relied upon to meet our long-term food security needs. 

In light of today’s report, EWG urges Congress to craft a national GMO labeling system that gives consumers the right to know whether their food was produced with genetic engineering. EWG strongly agrees with the National Academy that Congress and the Obama administration “should bear in mind the importance of transparency” and should reform the broken regulatory system for GMO crops and chemicals.

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