Our GMOs are too weak to survive in nature

Interview with Novo Nordisk GMO expert Knud Vad (PhD in molecular biology).

We believe in openness when we deal with issues which cause public concern. We see it as our obligation to communicate on any issue with a perceived risk to society
Knud Vad, Novo Nordisk GMO expert (PhD in molecular biology)

Why is it Novo Nordisk’s policy to share information related to the spills?

We do that by showing how we handle our production and by keeping a continuous dialogue with our stakeholders. We have no interest in hiding incidents of accidental GMO leakages. We want to tell openly and honestly about all aspects of our use of GMOs.

Can the GMOs used by Novo Nordisk survive in nature?

Our GMOs are too week to survive in nature. We do everything to prevent leakage of GMOs and have very strict guidelines for actions if it accidentally should happen. In a few instances small amounts of fluids containing GMOs have by mistakes been leaked into the sewerage system. In these instances the authorities and NGOs have been called to watch the treatment of the waste. The waste has been thoroughly examined to determine whether the GMOs could survive in nature. As expected, the GMOs we use are too week to survive in nature.

The genetically modified cells in our production are created in a laboratory and only intended for production in a protected and controlled environment. This means that the cells are very weak. It will take a number of very unusual incidents for our GMOs to survive in nature.

Why have GMOs been leaked into nature despite the contained production?

We make huge efforts to avoid any instances of spills that contain GMOs. But whenever the human factor is involved no system is 100 per cent safe. In the few instances we have experienced, the spills have been caused by human errors or mistakes. Any spill has been carefully evaluated afterwards to learn from the errors.