We all agree that consumers should have access to information about their food. A number of consumers are fearful of GMOs, and they want a label that tells them if the food they are buying is a GMO product. They are working for these labels on a local level. But a patchwork of mandates would be a nightmare for food producers – compliance would be difficult, if not impossible, and could stifle future development of GMO crops. And with local mandates, the risk of scary, inaccurate food labels could actually keep consumers in the dark and obviously, would be bad for farmers and producers. It would likely stop the continued innovation that we need to eradicate plant viruses and grow enough food to feed more people. If there is going to be a GMO label, it needs to be consistent across the country.
So, the American Farm Bureau is asking the people who use this technology — farmers — to Get a Move On for GMOs. The Bureau wants you to send a message now to your representative in Congress asking for passage of the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act (H.R. 1599).
We also need to do our part in educating consumers. We need to teach them there is a real-life benefit of GMO crops. According to the National Farm Bureau, more than 90 percent of U.S. corn, cotton and soybeans are produced using biotechnology. U.S. farm revenues from GMO crops were about $76 billion in 2010. And thanks to high yields, on less land, and with the use of fewer chemicals and less energy to produce those crops, biotech crops have been a key player in the healthy farm economy over the past few years.
For more information, go to the Farm Bureau website at getamoveon.fb.org.
I’m Len Wilcox and that’s the Western View from AgNet West.