How does a genetically modified seed get from a lab at Monsanto, Dow or some other facility to an Ohio corn or soybean field? According to the Food and Drug Administration, here is the regulatory process:
On average, each GM seed variety takes an average of $136 million and 13 years to bring to market because of the research, safety studies and regulatory approval process necessary. No other type of new seed that comes to market from other breeding methods goes through this approval process, including conventional and organic seeds developed from mutagenesis. Only GMOs are required to be reviewed.
• USDA conducts a mandatory review on all GMOs to prove they are safe to grow.
• EPA conducts a mandatory review of GMOs that contain a trait related to “regulated articles,” such as being resistant to insects or herbicide tolerant to prove GMOs are safe for the environment.
• FDA conducts a voluntary review to prove GMOs are safe to eat.
All data submitted for these approvals can be made publicly available. Further, if new studies from any source come to light that show any harmful effects of an existing GM product, they must be submitted to the regulatory agencies for further review. To date, the FDA has reviewed studies that questioned the safety of today’s GMOs and to date have found them not scientifically valid.
“FDA has no basis for concluding that bioengineered foods differ from other foods in any meaningful or uniform way, or that, as a class, foods developed by the new techniques present any different or greater safety concern than foods developed by traditional plant breeding.” (FDA)