Assaults On Modern Agriculture
Rep. Adrian Smith
Rejecting scientific advancements in agriculture may be in fashion, but this fad poses great dangers to the affordability and accessibility of food domestically and worldwide.
In three weeks, the second-smallest state by population is set to create chaos in the U.S. food supply chain. Vermont’s mandatory labeling law for genetically modified organisms (GMOs) takes effect on July 1, with Maine and Connecticut planning to follow suit.
If states move forward with their own labeling laws using varying standards and definitions, this legal patchwork will force farmers to implement costly new procedures and equipment. Retailers will have to alter ingredients and distribution chains or face financial penalties.
These costs will ultimately be passed on to consumers, with the biggest burdens falling to those who can afford them least.
As our global population grows, we should be celebrating producers’ ability to make safe, affordable foods available to more people while preserving our finite resources. Laws such as Vermont’s seek to vilify the very technology making these advancements possible.
With biotechnology, producers can increase yields using less land, less water and fewer chemicals. The American Farm Bureau Federation reports today’s farmers produce 262 percent more food with 2 percent fewer resources compared to 1950.
This is not only good for the environment, it also lowers the cost of food at a time when 1 in 8 people worldwide suffers from chronic malnutrition. By 2050, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations projects the global demand for food to increase by as much as 60 percent.
Not only are biotechnology crops necessary to feed the world, study after study also reaffirms their safety. On May 17, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine released a lengthy report based on 20 years of data, finding “no substantiated evidence of a difference in risks to human health between current commercially available genetically engineered (GE) crops and conventionally bred crops.”
We are a broad-based coalition representing the entire American agriculture food supply chain – from farm to fork. We are committed to increasing the public’s understanding about the science and safety of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and advocating for science-based policies that keep food affordable for every American.