- Jul 1, 2011
- Reaction score
- Lower Hudson Valley, NY
- Political Leaning
[h=1]I Run a G.M.O. Company — and I Support G.M.O. Labeling[/h]
MY first exposure to biotechnology was from my father. He grew up with juvenile diabetes, and for most of his life had taken daily injections of insulin from pigs, even though it came with a risk of side effects. That changed in 1982 when Eli Lilly introduced Humulin. I remember the Humulin box with “human insulin (recombinant DNA origin)” proudly displayed on the label: Biological engineers had transferred human DNA-encoding insulin into bacteria, and that meant my dad could get the real thing and no longer had to make do with insulin from animals.
Twenty-six years later, I became a founder of a biotechnology company that makes products with genetically modified organisms for the food industry. Like88 percent of my fellow scientists, I believe that genetically engineered foods are safe. But unlike many of my colleagues, I’m among the 89 percent of Americans who believe that bioengineered ingredients should be identified on food packaging.
To me, there’s no contradiction in these two beliefs. For years, scientists have celebrated the many benefits of genetic engineering, from increased crop yields to improved nutritional content. They have also been embracing transparency, in the form of open access to research findings and calls for increased public engagement. It doesn’t make sense to advocate a better understanding of biotechnology in one breath and, in the other, tell consumers they don’t need to know when that technology is used to make their food.
Foods with bioengineered ingredients are safe, but shrouding them in secrecy breeds doubt and fear. Clear, informative labeling is a first step toward transparency that can build trust and educate consumers. But trust has to go both ways: Biotechnology companies and food producers must trust consumers to educate themselves and make informed decisions.
I look forward to seeing how people label this guy "anti-science" and explain why consumers should trust GE foods while they don't trust consumers