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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

November 9, 2013 at 8:04 AM

FDA doesn’t test GMOs

Debate over GMOs involves many untruths by large corporations

Your editorial repeated a factually untrue statement from Scientific American that “the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has tested all the GMOs on the market” to determine safety [“Voters don’t buy GMO labels,” Opinion, Nov. 6].

It’s true, the FDA conducts no scientific tests on any GMOs. The FDA only receives summary information from the company, “consults” with the company if there is indication of a problem (which there never is — the industry only submits dossiers that appear clean) and then rubberstamps the “application.”

As the FDA website puts it, “FDA considers a consultation to be complete only when its team of scientists are satisfied with the developers’ safety assessment and have no further questions regarding safety or regulatory issues.” In other words, the agency itself does no actual assessment.

Unfortunately, the debate over GMOs involves many instances of the repetition of untruths by organizations which should do better fact-checking.

Phil Bereano, Professor Emeritus, Seattle

Comments | More in Food/nutrition | Topics: fda, GMOs

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