Farm Groups Urge Biotech Reform

In a letter to the House Agriculture Committee, major farm advocacy groups urged Representatives to pass legislation protecting biotechnology and genetically modified crops in the face of impending litigation.

The biotech industry has been a profitable, if controversial, part of the agricultural sector for years. This success, however, has prompted grassroots opposition. Biotech giant Monsanto, for example, has been the target of frequent lawsuits across the country by farmers and food safety advocates who feel threatened by their aggressive business policies and their genetically modified products.

The spate of lawsuits against biotech companies has worried some farmers, who fear that future litigation could prevent them from planting crops they legally acquired. A bill introduced by Georgia Representative Jack Kingston would protect these farmers, allowing biotech crops already approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to be planted under temporary stewardship conditions.

The letter, signed by nine farm advisory groups, stated, “Opponents of agricultural biotechnology have repeatedly filed suits against USDA on procedural grounds in order to disrupt the regulatory process and undermine the science-based regulation of such products. These lawsuits have also created tremendous resource constraints for USDA and have resulted in significant delays in approval of new, innovative products that will help growers provide Americans with an abundant and economical food supply while remaining competitive in the world market.”

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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer