Speaking at the recent BIO 2013 International Convention, Arnot said business shouldn’t waste time arguing with consumers over terminology, such as whether “genetic engineering” is a better term than “genetic modification.”
“‘GM’ has become the cultural nomenclature for this issue,” he said, “and we have to say that to be in the debate. The conversation is about food safety. It is not about language.”
“Don’t debate the language. If we debate the language, we are missing the point,” he said. Arnot said his observations are based on extensive research with consumers and on a peer-reviewed research model.
Appearing with Betsie Estes and Roxie Beck of BestFoodFacts.org, Arnot said that food safety is the key issue for consumers.
“Food safety trumps everything else. If we can’t pass the food safety threshold, we can’t do anything else.”
Arnot urged companies and industries to be open to public concerns and to proactive “authentic transparency - the good, the bad, and the ugly.”
“Authentic transparency reduces fear of the unknown,” he said.