ConAgra Foods agrees with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and numerous trusted scientific bodies and regulatory agencies* that foods and beverages that contain genetic modification (GM) of ingredients are safe and nutritious to eat. Given the potential for GM to improve the quality, sustainable availability and nutritional value of food, we support its responsible use when based on sound science and regulatory and safety reviews.
- What is GM?
- Is it new?
- What is ConAgra Foods doing?
- Is it safe to eat your food if it includes ingredients produced using GMO (also referred to as "biotechnology, biotech or genetically modified organisms")?
- Will ConAgra Foods continue to use GMOs in food?
- Do you make any food without GMO ingredients?
What is GM?
GM is different from traditional plant breeding. GM means adding specific desirable traits from one plant or microorganism to a food plant. It is not about inserting chemicals into foods. Examples of GM efforts include those designed to allow crops to use less water or be grown on less land, or to be more resistant to weeds and pests. In fact, GM technology helps reduce the price of crops used for food, such as corn, soybeans and sugar beets by as much as 15-30%, according to the Grocery Manufacturers Association. In addition, one in eight people among the world's growing population of seven billion do not have enough to eat, and safe and effective methods of food production, like crops produced through GM technology, can help us feed the hungry and malnourished in developing nations around the world.
Is it new?
GM 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% of the foods we eat in the United States contain genetically modified ingredients.
What is ConAgra Foods doing?
We understand that GMO (Genetically Modified Organisms) 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 Foods is working cross-functionally, both internally and externally, to ensure company decisions are consistent with regulations and credible science and informed by emerging thought. Our employees from scientists to supply chain experts to consumer insight professionals are engaging with key trade associations, farmers, R&D organizations, non-profits, consumers, customers and socially conscious investor groups to inform our thinking. We also discuss this issue with our Scientific Advisory Board and Food Safety Council, external groups of thought leaders in the fields of medicine, nutrition, food science and behavior science. We stay abreast of potential legislation and will always consider support of laws that are in the consumer and societal interest. We believe consumers should be knowledgeable about what's in their food, and our Consumer Affairs team is happy to provide information on GMO use in our food.
ConAgra Foods is continuing to work in collaboration with our industry peers on a longer-term approach to provide further transparency for consumers regarding the use of GM ingredients in food. ConAgra Foods would be supportive of federal guidelines for a uniform approach in this area. ConAgra Foods does not support mandatory labeling on a state by state basis, as this presents significant complication and costs costs the consumer may share. ConAgra Foods is committed to meeting our consumers' expectations and contributing to a safe, nutritious, sustainable and affordable food supply for now and the foreseeable future.
Is it safe to eat your food if it includes ingredients produced using GMO (also referred to as "biotechnology, biotech or genetically modified organisms")?
Throughout the past two decades, GMO 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 Foods, we only purchase and use ingredients that comply with U.S. Department of Agriculture and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations for food safety and nutrition. Both the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the FDA have concluded that GM food that is approved for human consumption is as safe and nutritious as food that is developed through more conventional methods.
Will ConAgra Foods continue to use GMOs in food?
The use of GMOs is one of the most effective and sustainable ways to keep our food affordable, accessible and safe and helps us continue to provide a high quality of 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 GMO.
Do you make any food without GMO ingredients?
We provide a range of alternatives for those who want food without GMO ingredients. For Alexia®, our #1 ingredient is potatoes, and they are non-GMO. We're also working to have all of our Alexia products certified as GMO-free. Visit the non-GMO project website to view our varieties that have been certified.
For more information, we encourage you to visit www.factsaboutgmos.org.
*U.S. Food & Drug Administration, the American Medical Association, the World Health Organization, Health Canada, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the National Academy of Sciences