Acknowledging it hadn’t done a good job of communicating information on genetically modified foods, the Council for Biotechnology Information has launched a website to answer consumer questions.
The organization representing many large agricultural biotech companies has debuted a website that pledges increased transparency about genetically modified organisms in order to garner more support for food and agricultural products containing GMOs.
“We have not done a very good job communicating about GMOs,” said Cathleen Enright, executive director of the Council for Biotechnology Information, in The New York Times. “We want to get into the conversation.”
In a statement on the new site, GMOanswers.com, the council—which includes BASF, Bayer CropScience, Dow AgroSciences, DuPont, Monsanto, and Syngenta—says its goal is to “make information about GMOs in food and agriculture easier to access and understand.”
“We have been accused of purposely hiding information,” Enright, who is also executive vice president for food and agriculture at the Biotechnology Industry Organization, told The Times. “We haven’t done that, but now we will open the doors and provide information.”
The council’s move comes as GMOs are getting more attention from other trade groups and companies. Earlier this year, grocery chain Whole Foods announced it would begin an initiative to label genetically modified products in its stores. Soon after that, the Natural Products Association (NPA) called for uniform labeling of GMO products, and earlier this month, the NPA backed federal legislation that would require it. Another group, the Organic Consumers Association, expressed skepticism to The Times over the council’s website effort but said it would take a wait-and-see approach.
The council is partnering with American Farm Bureau Federation, American Seed Trade Association, American Soybean Association, and National Cotton Council on the endeavor.