Biotech Updates

Plant Health Scientists Reiterate Support for Biotechnology

October 23, 2013

The Council of the American Phytopathological Society (APS) has refined its position on biotechnology, as three pioneers of agricultural biotechnology received the World Food Prize this year. The APS is the world's largest organization of plant health scientists, representing almost 5,000 members from 90 different countries. Citing the enormous potential benefits for management of plant diseases offered by this technology, APS reiterated its support and opposed mandatory labeling of food derived from genetically modified (GM) plants.

George Abawi, APS President said "Biotechnology today is a valuable tool for improving plant health, food and feed safety, and sustainable gains in plant productivity. As has been discussed this week during the Borlaug Summit and the World Food Prize, biotechnology will continue to be an extremely important part of the toolbox for managing plant health." While strongly supporting transparent science-based regulation of agricultural products, APS has long opposed regulating food, feed, and fiber products solely on the basis of the particular technology used to create these products.

Abawi added, "Current scientific evidence supports the conclusion that GM plants pose no greater safety risk than traditionally bred plants. Labeling GM could be very confusing to consumers and could reduce the availability and use of this technology for the management of plant diseases."

The complete APS Position Statement on the Compulsory Labeling of Plants and Plant Products Derived from Biotechnology is available at