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Monsanto and World Food Prize Laureates Warn Against Labeling, Other Anti-biotech Efforts

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's Genetic Engineering page and our Millions Against Monsanto page.

The World Food Prize laureates say biotechnology has great potential to feed a growing world, unless movements to restrict their use succeed.

Marc Van Montagu of Belgium, Mary-Dell Chilton of Syngenta and Robert T. Fraley of Monsanto emphasized the benefits and safety of genetically modified crops and addressed criticisms in a press conference Thursday at the World Food Prize's Borlaug Dialogue.

The three will be awarded with the prize Thursday night for their research, which led to the development of biotech crops, which, by 2012, were grown around the globe by 17.3 million farmers.

The laureates warned against efforts in some states to label foods made with genetically modified ingredients. Organic labeling already exists, Chilton pointed out, and many companies will not be able to sell GMO products if forced to label.

"It will be the death of the technology in a real sense if we have obligatory labeling," Chilton said.

Fraley said Monsanto recognizes that it must do a better job of responding to consumer concerns over the seeds. "We haven't done a good job of reaching consumers. We've been so focused on farmers."