What is in this article?:
- Farmers Assurance Provision protects biotech crops
- Anti-biotech onslaught
- The Farmer Assurance Provision has a simple purpose: It assures farmers that frivolous junk-science lawsuits won’t stop them from planting biotech crops that have been USDA approved for planting after passing years of rigorous testing.
There has been some serious misinformation about the Farmers Assurance Provision running through the anti-biotech community that I would like to address personally. Maybe you’ve heard some voices rail against the so-called “Monsanto Protection Act” – a nickname invented to infuriate other anti-technology activists and hopefully raise support for their campaign to ban or at least slow down the planting of GM crops.
With groups like the Center for Food Safety, Mother Jones Magazine, Food Democracy Now and Food & Water Watch – each with an anti-technology in agriculture agenda – noted as their source of information, it’s time for farmers who use the technology to speak up and talk about what the provision actually does.
Included in a spending bill recently signed by President Obama, The Farmer Assurance Provision has a simple purpose: It assures farmers like me that frivolous junk-science lawsuits won’t stop them from planting safe and healthy crops that have been USDA approved for planting after passing years of rigorous testing. This modest measure merely codifies case law already developed by the Supreme Court as well as the current practices of the Department of Agriculture.
Shortly after approval of the Farmer Assurance Provision, an anti-biotech website actually described it as an act of “fascism.”
How do you have a reasonable discussion with an activist who equates a legal measure that received bipartisan support in Congress and backing from the White House with the horrors of Nazi Germany?
I’ve grown biotech crops on my farm for twenty years. I choose these crops because they let me grow more food on less land—the very definition of sustainable agriculture. Along the way, these crops help me make more efficient use of resources such as water, fertilizer, and fuel while protecting the soil.
In other words, these crops make sense for both economic and environmental reasons. They’re an important tool for me as a farmer and they’re good for all of us as consumers who want sustainable food at a reasonable price.
Litigation is the root of the problem this provision addresses. It is not a food safety or environment protection issue.
Around the globe, scientists and regulators have studied biotech crops and deemed them safe, from the American Medical Association to the World Health Organization.