GMO and Genetic Modification
Conagra Brands agrees with the FDA and numerous trusted scientific bodies and regulatory agencies (World Health Organization, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) that foods and beverages that contain ingredients derived from genetically modified organisms (GMO) are safe and nutritious to eat. Given the potential for GMO to improve the quality, sustainable availability and nutritional value of food, we support its responsible use when based on sound science and appropriate regulatory and safety reviews.
What is GMO?
GMO is different from traditional plant breeding. GMO means adding specific desirable traits from one plant or microorganism to a food plant. It is not about inserting chemicals into foods. Examples of GMO efforts include those designed to allow crops to use less water or be grown on less land, to have enhanced nutritional attributes to be more resistant to weeds and pests.
Is it new?
GMO has been around for the past 20 years. Today, food that has been genetically modified is found in markets, throughout the grocery store and on restaurant menus. The Grocery Manufacturers Association has reported that at least 70 to 80 percent of the foods we eat in the United States contain ingredients derived from GMO sources.
What is Conagra Brands doing?
We understand that GMO is an area of evolving public perception and opinion, and as a corporate citizen, we evaluate the impacts of our decisions on a wide range of constituents. As a result, Conagra Brands is working cross-functionally, both internally and externally, to ensure company decisions are consistent with regulations and credible science. Our employees — from scientists to supply chain experts to consumer insight professionals — are engaging with key trade associations, international regulatory agencies, farmers, R&D organizations, non-profits, consumers, customers and socially conscious investor groups to inform our thinking. We also discuss this issue with external thought leaders in the fields of medicine, nutrition, food science and behavioral science. We stay abreast of legislation and welcome a national, uniform approach to disclosure on the use of GMOs in food. We stand behind the health and safety of all of our products, including those that contain ingredients derived from GMO sources, and believe consumers should be informed about the ingredients in their food. Additionally, the Consumer Affairs team is happy to provide information on biotechnology use in our food.
Is it safe to eat your food if it includes ingredients produced using biotechnology (also referred to as “biotech, genetically modified organisms or GMO”)?
Yes, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the USDA and the FDA have concluded that biotech food that is approved for human consumption is as safe and nutritious as food that is developed through more conventional methods. Throughout the past two decades, biotechnology has been used to improve yield, nutrition, resistance to drought and insects, and other desirable qualities of several common food crops, including corn and soy. At Conagra Brands, we only purchase and use ingredients that comply with USDA and FDA regulations for food safety and nutrition.
Will you continue to use GM ingredients in your food?
The use of biotechnology is one of the most effective and sustainable ways to keep our food affordable, accessible and safe and helps us continue to provide high quality food to our consumers. We understand the field of food biotechnology is constantly shifting as advancements are made in the world of science. We will continue to reevaluate our internal policies, relying heavily on evolving science, consumer and customer expectations, and regulatory decisions. Ultimately, consumers will decide what is acceptable in the marketplace based on the best science and public information available. We will continue to listen carefully to our customers and consumers about biotechnology.