Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Biotech group pushes acceptance of genetically modified food

A group of biotech companies battling to increase U.S. consumer acceptance of genetically modified foods is increasing paid advertising efforts as it expands a social media marketing website it started last year.

The paid ads will seek to drive traffic to the GMOAnswers website started last year by agrichemical industry firms that want to allay concerns about GMO foods, according to an executive who helps to run the site.
The Web campaign is part of a broad strategy by the biotech industry to try to beat back growing calls for GMO food labeling and for tighter regulation of the biotech seed industry in the United States.
A consortium backed in part by Monsanto, DuPont and Dow AgroSciences, a unit of Dow Chemical, created the website in July. So far, it has logged more than 650 questions, chiefly focused on the impact of GMOs on health and nutrition.
A pilot project for the Web effort was completed recently and the expansion is being rolled out now, Dow AgroSciences spokesman David Sousa said. He said the ad campaign should raise the profile of the website for people searching for information about GMOs on the Internet.
The group is promoting the site with Google Adwords and Outbrain.
“Monsanto should not have to vouchsafe the safety of biotech food,"
said Phil Angell, Monsanto's director of corporate communications. 
"Our interest is in selling as much of it as possible. Assuring its safety
is the FDA's job.”

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