23 October 2016 - Finally, a Voice for GMOs

The attacks on GMO’s, genetically modified organisms, in our food supply just keep on coming. They are coming from individuals, organizations and corporations who base their argument on emotion rather than science. I don’t hear any complaints about the use of GMO’s coming from starving and hungry children in developing countries of the world. Here in the U.S., it continues.

That is why this week I commend the leaders of several farm organizations who said to Dannon, the maker of yogurt, “ . . . enough is enough”. Dannon recently pledged to eliminate the use of safe and proven crop technology to feed the dairy cows that supply milk for its yogurt products. Dannon is one of several prominent food manufacturers and retailers that in recent years has taken steps to eliminate genetically-modified ingredients from its supply, claiming that such a move improves the sustainability of its products.

That prompted a letter co-signed by leaders of the American Farm Bureau Federation, the American Soybean Association, American Sugarbeet Growers Association, National Corn Growers Association, National Milk Producers Federation and U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance that said “Enough is enough.”

The letter was sent to Mariano Lozano, head of Dannon’s U. S. Operations, and the farm groups basically said the company’s strategy to eliminate GMOs “is the exact opposite of the sustainable agriculture that you claim to be seeking. Your pledge would force farmers to abandon safe, sustainable farming practices that have enhanced farm productivity over the last 20 years while greatly reducing the carbon footprint of American agriculture.”

One of the leaders said - “This is just marketing puffery, not any true innovation that improves the actual product offered to consumers.”

It is time that more food producers and companies make that point with their consumers. The world population will continue to grow and without the use of technology, a greater percentage of that population will go to bed hungry every night. Science, not emotion, will play a pivotal role in making sure that doesn’t happen, and GMO’s, Genetically Modified Organisms, will continue to be a very important ingredient in that technology.

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