Foods containing ingredients from genetically modified (GM) crops pose no greater risk than the same foods made from crops modified by conventional plant breeding techniques, the AAAS Board of Directors has concluded. Legally mandating labels on GM foods could therefore “mislead and falsely alarm consumers”... AAAS [the world's largest general scientific society] noted that it is important to distinguish between labeling intended to protect public health—about the presence of allergens, for example—and optional labeling that aids consumer decision-making, such as “kosher” or “USDA organic,” which reflects verifiable and certifiable standards about production and handling. Several current efforts to require labeling of GM foods are not being driven by any credible scientific evidence that these foods are dangerous... Rather, GM labeling initiatives are being advanced by “the persistent perception that such foods are somehow ‘unnatural,’” as well as efforts to gain competitive advantages within the marketplace, and the false belief that GM crops are untested. In the United States, in fact, each new GM crop must be subjected to rigorous analysis and testing in order to receive regulatory approval... “GM crops are the most extensively tested crops ever.” ... the World Health Organization, the American Medical Association, the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, the British Royal Society, and “every other respected organization that has examined the evidence has come to the same conclusion: consuming foods containing ingredients derived from GM crops is no riskier than consuming the same foods containing ingredients from crop plants modified by conventional plant improvement techniques.” The European Commission (EU) recently concluded, based on more than 130 studies covering 25 years of research involving at least 500 independent research groups, that genetic modification technologies “are not per se more risky than…conventional plant breeding technologies.” Occasional claims that feeding GM foods to animals can cause health problems have not stood up to rigorous scientific scrutiny... “Civilization rests on people’s ability to modify plants to make them more suitable as food, feed and fiber plants and all of these modifications are genetic” ...