Updated website aims to clear up confusion about GMOs

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RICHMOND—Consumers continue to be bombarded with conflicting information about GMOs, but a website that was created in 2013 strives to solve that dilemma.

The newly designed GMOAnswers.com website acts as a clearinghouse for information related to genetically modified organisms—including the definition of a GMO. It also answers questions for site visitors.

“Consumers are still so confused about GMOs,” commented Tony Banks, a commodity marketing specialist for the Virginia Farm Bureau Federation. “I see a lot of misleading marketing aimed at uneducated consumers. Your orange juice does not contain GMOs, because there are no genetically modified oranges. Your all-purpose flour and salt are GMO-free because GMO wheat does not exist and salt is a mineral and has no genes to modify.”

Banks explained that GMO Answers provides a list of the nine GMO foods that currently exist. The site also provides information about the health and safety of GMOs, how the environment is affected and other related topics. It also offers links to scientific studies and illustrates how GMOs are developed, grown and tested.

There also is a search bar for burning questions about GMOs. If the question has been answered previously on the site, the answer will appear. If not, a question may be submitted and that question will be evaluated and routed to the most relevant GMO Answers expert. The answer is then emailed to the person submitting the question and it also will be posted to the site.

GMO Answers’ experts represent a wide range of disciplines in order to provide consumers with balanced, fact-based responses to their questions. Those resources include conventional and organic farmers, agribusiness experts, scientists, academics, medical doctors and nutritionists. These are the industry leaders in their fields, respected for their subject matter expertise and their unique insights. They have volunteered to address questions because they believe in transparency and consumers’ rights to make informed choices about food.

GMO Answers website said its goal is to make information about GMOs “easier to access and understand.” Members and partners commit to respecting people’s right to choose the best food for their families; supporting farmers as they work to grow crops using resources more efficiently; and respecting farmers’ ability to choose the seeds that are best for their farms, businesses and communities. The American Farm Bureau Federation is a GMO Answers partner.

Media: Contact Banks at 804-290-1114.

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