GM Crop Acreage is Dropping!
Farmers Plan to Plant Fewer GM Acres in 2000
Here are some interesting findings reported by the Campaign to Label Genetically Engineered Foods.
News From The Campaign to Label Genetically Engineered FoodsAt the American Farm Bureau Federation annual conference this week, Reuters took a straw poll of 400 farmers about genetically engineered crops. The 400 farmers surveyed for the poll grow crops on a total of 438,614 acres.
The farmers were asked their planting intentions of genetically engineered crops for the coming year and three related questions. To summarize, here is what the survey found:
FARMERS WILL PLANT LESS GENETICALLY ENGINEERED CROPS NEXT YEAR. The farmers surveyed said they will plant 22% less RoundUp Ready corn, 24% less Bt corn and 26% less Bt cotton, and 15% less RoundUp Ready soybeans. The only increase planned is a 5% increase in RoundUp Ready cotton.
FARMERS OPPOSE THE LABELING OF GENETICALLY ENGINEERED FOODS. The vast majority of farmers oppose labeling. 88% said they are against the government changing the regulations to require labeling on genetically engineered foods.
FARMERS ARE NOT SPENDING MONEY TO SEGREGATE THEIR GE AND NON-GE CROPS. Only 15% of the farmers surveyed are planning to invest money to handle or segregate genetically modified crops.
As you may imagine, the biotech industry and the GE seed producers are attacking this survey as being inaccurate. They state their research indicates farmers will grow as much acreage of biotech crops in 2000 as they did in 1999.
The Campaign to Label Genetically Engineered Foods feels the Reuters survey is likely to be quite reflective of farmers on a national level. U.S. farmers are aware that consumers in Europe have been actively opposing genetically engineered foods. And they are aware that there is growing opposition by consumers in other countries and now in the United States. As a result, it is expected that many will switch back to non-genetically engineered crops in the 2000 growing season. At the same time, it is not surprising that most are reluctant to support labeling or to invest extra money to segregate the crops.
We feel this survey is a indication that the tide continues to turn against the genetic manipulation of foods. An increasing number of scientists worldwide are questioning the safety of genetically engineered crops on health and the environment. And consumers in the United States, Canada, and other countries are becoming very vocal and active in their opposition to these experimental foods being sold unlabeled and with inadequate pre-market safety testing.
Maybe, just maybe, we will find scientists and consumers winning the battle for truth and open information. The anti-science, anti-consumer organizations such as the FDA are on the defensive. Will this continue, or will lobbyists fight back to preserve and extend the special privileges currently enjoyed by the genetic manipulators? Tell your opinion to The Progress Report:
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