Despite rapid adoption by farmers and a strong scientific consensus that it does not pose health and environmental risks, biotechnology faces regulatory burdens that can slow investment and innovation of new biotech traits. These regulatory challenges are starting to impact U.S. farmers’ international competitive advantage. In addition, opponents of biotechnology routinely threaten the availability of new traits by blocking science-based regulatory decisions and advocating for labeling mandates.
Due to the pressure being applied by activist groups, we are continuing to see challenges in developing new technologies for agriculture. These groups are driving the narrative instead of those involved in agriculture.
Farm Bureau has developed the Biotech Grassroots Toolkit to help empower farmers to speak up about the importance of biotechnology and the need for having a choice in what production practices growers employ. The toolkit will serve as a resource and one-stop shop for issues dealing with biotechnology.
The toolkit includes resources such as downloads that tout the benefits of biotechnology, an action page which includes a draft civic club speech, and links to partner websites such as GMO Answers, USFRA and the Coalition for Safe and Affordable Food.
This resource will allow farmers to set the record straight. Whether meeting with community leaders or government officials and their staff, farmers will be able to correct misinformation about the impact of biotech crops, or “GMOs,” on agriculture. If preconceived notions about the harms that GMOs have caused growers are not corrected, then any information about their benefits will be weighed against these misconceptions.
The toolkit is found at www.fb.org/biotech. Feel free to use the information to educate folks on this important issue.