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Says Testing Needed to Reassure Consumers
NFU Calls for Congress to Fund GMO Testing Lab

(7 July - Cropchoice News) -- Saying "it is imperative that accurate information be available to respond to the consumer questions regarding the composition of food products", National Farmers Union president Leland Swenson has called on Congress to pay for a USDA biotech testing lab. According to Denver-based NFU, consumer concerns about product safety, labeling and health make government investment in GMO testing important to protect consumer confidence.

NFU's call for Congress to appropriate $2 million for the lab underscores the relevance of GMO testing to export markets and producer preferences. NFU says foreign markets are demanding GMO testing and "With the planting of genetically modified corn down more than 20 percent this year, it is clear that farmers are concerned about consumer preferences when they make production decisions. In order for growers to make these critical management decisions, accurate, reliable information must be available."

NFU believes export markets are "greatly affected" GMOs and says it "advocates objective public testing and research to identify the presence of these organisms." According to NFU, clear testing standards will help both biotech backers and opponents.

For more information on USDA's proposed GMO testing laboratory, see Cropchoice's article from May 10th here.