What is Bayer’s stance on genetically modified organisms (GMO)?
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We address some of the world's most pressing global challenges and continue to develop new solutions. One significant challenge facing us is our constantly growing global population, coupled with a limited amount of land for growing food and pressure on precious resources. As such, we strive to facilitate the production of high-quality food in sufficient quantities. It is our belief that plant biotechnology, also referred to as genetic engineering (GE) or genetically modified organisms (GMOs), is a key part of this sustainable strategy.
What Are GMOs?
So what is a GMO? GMO refers to plants that have been bred using genetic engineering, which allows plant breeders to make very specific and predictable changes to a plant. Genetic engineering involves taking desirable traits from one plant, such as resistance to drought, insects, or weeds, and applying them to another plant. It also allows plant breeders to improve an existing trait in a plant. In Canada, five genetically modified crops are widely used: canola, corn, lentils, soy and sugar beet.
What are the benefits of GMO crops?
Genetic engineering offers farmers a number of concrete advantages. These include using resources such as water and fuel more efficiently, fighting pests and diseases, and conserving natural habitat.
There are environmental benefits of using plant science. Canadian canola farmers, for example, would need 91 per cent more land to grow the same amount of canola as they do now with GMO seeds – that’s the equivalent of 14 million football fields. This efficiency leads to a reduction in fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.
Are GMOs safe?
Yes; GMOs are safe. Not one scientifically tenable study has ever indicated any risk to health posed by the use of genetic engineering in crop breeding. In 2016 representatives from 15 scientific societies met to explore the findings from more than 900 research and other publications on the purported negative effects and benefits of GMO crops. This review found no evidence of risk to human health or the environment. Read the report here.
The safety of people and our products are our top priority. We take the research and development of our seeds seriously. We comply with all applicable laws and regulations and industry standards, and have also established our own additional internal policies.