John Block, former Secretary of Agriculture and now Senior Policy Advisor for Olsson, Frank, and Weeda, released a radio commentary late last week dealing with USDA’s proposed “compromise” on alfalfa deregulation in effort to achieve enhanced coexistence among farmers:
Hello everybody out there in farm country. This radio commentary is brought to you by the Renewable Fuels Association, Wal-Mart Stores, Monsanto, and John Deere. They are all friends, supporters, and allies of a healthy farm economy and prosperous rural America. Thank you.
And now for today’s commentary –
I remember as a boy hoeing weeds in our corn fields and pulling weeds in the bean fields. I recall the plant damage that our corn suffered from root worms and corn borer. Along came biotechnology and genetically engineered seeds. The weeds are gone and the corn stands straight and strong.
We have been successfully utilizing this remarkable technology to increase our farming efficiency and productivity for nearly 20 years. We have 60 million acres of GE corn and soybeans in the United States.
Environmental groups can’t stand to see modern agriculture prosper. They would like for us to farm as we did when I was a boy.
Two lawsuits threaten our industry – beets and alfalfa, and that’s just the beginning. The Center for Food Safety sued USDA back in 2006 to stop the distribution of a Roundup Ready alfalfa. After all these years with no hint of harm from GE crops, no danger to humans or livestock, the USDA appears to be unwilling to issue a stamp of approval for Roundup Ready alfalfa. This nuisance litigation has USDA frozen in place. Secretary Vilsack seems to be trying to pacify the anti-biotech activist crowd by suggesting that perhaps there could be a minimum planting distance between GE alfalfa and organic alfalfa.
This is the “camel’s nose under the tent.” Can you just imagine all of the tiny organic gardens all over the country that could threaten all of our GE crops? Not just alfalfa or sugar beets but corn, soy bean, cotton, on and on. The regulatory result could be devastating.
The anti-biotech crowd refuses to acknowledge the scientifically proven safety of biotech crops. They don’t care. They don’t care if our food output could be cut by 1/3 or more. They ignore the inevitable surge in the cost of food and global starvation that could occur.
Write, call, E-mail your Congressmen and your State Ag Commissioner, unless you want to go back to farming as I did as a boy.
In closing, I would encourage you to access my website which archives my radio commentaries dating back 10 years and will go back 20 years when complete. Check on what I said back then. Go to www.johnblockreports.com.