Myth: GMOs and GM Foods are Untested and Unsafe

Myth: GMOs and GM foods are untested and unsafe.

Fact: GMO crops undergo more testing and oversight than any other agricultural products, and, the safety of biotech crops is well-established by hundreds of studies and years of real-world experience.

The safety and healthfulness of the foods we eat and serve to our friends and family is important to everyone, including those of us here at Monsanto. We place the highest priority on the safety of the products we sell to farmers – seeds that are grown into crops harvested and potentially used as ingredients in many of the foods we buy and eat every day.

GMO crops have been tested more than any crop in the history of agriculture.

Each GMO crop undergoes many years of research, field trials and internal reviews before we submit it to regulatory agencies worldwide for assessment and approval.

  • We conduct tests to make sure the GM crop contains the same components and nutrients as conventional varieties. Specifically, we analyze all GM crops to make sure their levels of protein, carbohydrate, fat, amino acids, fiber, vitamins, and a variety of other components are equivalent or similar to conventional crops.
  • We thoroughly study any gene that is added to the GMO crop. We characterize how the gene works, make environmental and ecological assessments and confirm there are no health concerns from the gene or the protein produced by the gene. This includes thorough testing to verify that any such proteins do not introduce a new food allergen.
  • Because existing food crops are recognized as safe, these tests on the GMO crop must demonstrate that it is not substantially altered from non-GMO crops in terms of its use as food or feed, or in terms of its environmental safety. This is referred to as “substantial equivalence.”

For each GMO crop grown today, roughly 20 to 40 different and independent health and environmental agencies worldwide have scrutinized a product’s safety studies and assessments.

Each time, the result has been the same: the food from GMO crops is as safe as conventional (non-GMO) food.

  • In the United States alone, GMO crops are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and for insect-protected crops, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
  • Worldwide, similar scientific agencies in roughly 35 countries have approved GMO crops, including Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Egypt, the European Union, India, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, Norway, Pakistan, the Philippines, the Russian Federation, South Africa, South Korea and Turkey.
  • For example, Roundup Ready® soybeans have received nearly 50 science-based regulatory approvals in 25 countries worldwide.

Since farmers first planted GMO crops in 1996, there have been no documented safety issues.

  • Each planting season, farmers choose the types of seeds they will plant – some choose GM seeds, some do not. GMO crops have become the fastest, most widely adopted agricultural innovation in recent history because of the benefits all types of farmers experience.
  • Between 1996 and 2012, farmers in approximately 30 countries worldwide made more than 100 million independent decisions to plant GMO crops – growing an accumulated total of approximately 1.5 billion hectares (3.7 billion acres) ofGMO crops.
  • And, in that time, there has not been one substantiated instance of illness associated with GMO crops.

More information is available in the Product and Food Safety section of our web site.