Why won’t the Seed Companies just conduct the environmental and public health impact study?

Each week, we will answer a question from our readers regarding our operations and community outreach in the State of Hawaii. Submit your question by visiting the contact page. Thanks for reading. Mahalo! 

Q: If the seed companies are claiming their practices are safe, why wouldn't they simply conduct the environmental and public health impacts study?

A: There’s an urban myth, frequently circulated on the Internet, that GMOs and the farming practices of seed companies are not adequately tested for their impact on the environment or human health. This is simply untrue.

Genetically modified crops are regulated by three federal agencies – the FDA, USDA and EPA – and undergo more science-based study and review than any other type of food. No other kind of food is assessed as extensively prior to being introduced for public consumption. 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.

In fact, for each GMO crop grown today, roughly 20 to 40 different and independent health and environmental agencies worldwide have looked at the product’s safety studies and assessments. To date, there have been well over a thousand peer-reviewed studies conducted on genetically modified crops, and the broad scientific and medical consensus is that GM crops are as safe as other kinds of crops.

You can learn more about how GM crops are researched and tested, or view a database of studies compiled by Biology Fortified.

In addition to federal oversight of GMOs, comprehensive federal and state regulations govern the responsible use of pesticides.

At Monsanto, safety is our number one priority. That includes in the safety of our employees, customers, neighbors and communities. We are committed to being great stewards of the land and natural resources. Our employees are trained and certified by the Hawaii Department of Agriculture.

Unfortunately, there continues to be many false and misleading statements made about Monsanto Hawaii’s use of agricultural chemicals (pesticides) on our farms. That said, we understand that there may be questions about our farming practices, and are committed to having conversations with our neighbors. We invite you to contact us if you have questions.

You can also visit these pages to learn more about how we control pests on our farms in Hawaii, our commitments to conservation, and the Memorandum of Understanding we signed with the Maui County Mayor’s Office in which we pledged to voluntarily share information about our farm practices on Maui and Molokai.

Finally, if you have questions about the ballot initiative seeking to stop farmers and home gardeners from growing GM crops in Maui County, please visit the Citizens Against the Maui County Farming Ban, a coalition comprised of thousands of Hawaii residents who oppose the measure. There, you can learn more about the consequences the measure would have on jobs, farms, local businesses and the Maui County economy.