US promotes GMO education to consumers through ‘Feed Your Mind’ initiative

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THE Feed Your Mind Initiative was cooperatively launched by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and US the Department of Agriculture (USDA) to help consumers better understand food derived from genetic engineering, commonly known as genetically modified organisms (GMOs). GMOs have been available since the early 1990s and are now commonly present in our food supply. Through genetic engineering, new plants with desirable traits were developed over the past 20 years.

These include plants that are resistant to pests, diseases, and abiotic stresses, biofortified plants, and those that do not brown or bruise easily. However, a lot of issues surrounding GM technology led to a lot of misconceptions about it. Thus, the Feed Your Mind initiative was launched to help people better understand the products of genetic engineering and how they are made. The FDA, EPA, and the USDA created a team of experts and agency leaders to put together a steering committee and several technical working groups. They also sought the stakeholders’ opinions, went through scientific researchers related to consumer understanding of GM foods, and conductive thorough formative research.

All these led to the build-up of the Feed Your Mind initiative which is funded by the US Congress. The initiative will be launched in phases. The first phase covered the launching of the website and selected fact sheets, infographics, and videos. These will be followed by the implementation of a supplementary science curriculum intended for high schools, and the release of materials for health professionals and consumers in the next two years. Feed Your Mind aims to push agricultural innovation forward to provide safe, abundant, and affordable safe supply while protecting the environment.

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The Petri Dish is malaysia’s first dedicated science newspaper. Through The Petri Dish we aim to engage the public on the latest developments on biotechnology.