Director of corporate communications for Monsanto, Phil Angell, summed up his company’s take on the issue in a report by food author Michael Pollan for New York Times Magazine in 1998: "Monsanto should not have to vouch for the safety of biotech food. Our interest is in selling as much of it as possible. Assuring its safety is the FDA's job." - New York Times, 1998, quoted here.
GMOs are organisms with artificially altered genes to change their characteristics in some way.
To date the most well know but also controversial application of GMO technology is related to food crops, for example food crops that are altered to produce pesticidal proteins from within the plant.
But GMO technology is also used for biological and medical research, production of pharmaceutical drugs and experimental medicine.
Russia recently said no (enough troubles without needing to import more), and Zimbabwe has said no to food aid containing GMOs, saying “You cannot use the Zimbabwean population as guinea pigs.” So far, Americans have allowed themselves to be used as guinea pigs, and they roll over and play guinea pig in the name of scientific and entrepreneurial freedom, willing to endure real harms and to put future generations at risk in the name of an abstract good that most of them will never share. We don't even require labeling on our food that would indicate what products contain GMOs.
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