The U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance (USFRA) brought together experts in Washington on Wednesday, March 7, for a panel discussion on the future of food and farming and the role of technology in helping to ensure a sustainable food supply-a topic particularly timely for today’s celebration of National Ag Day.
Dr. Roger Beachy explained that solutions must include genetic research aimed at improving plant disease resistance and enabling crops to last longer. “I’d like to see the day when disease resistance is king, not disease,” he said.
He emphasized the need for effectively leveraging public and private resources for scientific research, and called for harmonizing food safety guidelines globally and regionally to reduce barriers for approving new technologies and food products.
Watch the full video of yesterday’s panel discussion here.
Brigham Young University professor says biotech crops have a long history of success
In the The Daily Herald, Professor of Biology at Brigham Young University Duane Jeffrey says that genetic modification has been around for a long time and many of the concerns about biotech crops have not been verified by facts. The article points out, “This process has been going on for millennia. Indeed, the only common crop I can think of that may not have been so modified is the pine nut.” Over the past 15 years since biotech crops were first planted, the number of hectares of biotech crops has expanded 87 times. “By now, the major concerns, both those with some basis in science and some without, have hugely been laid to rest, and it is time to get on with reality.“ Read more.
Forbes blog: nutrition benefits of GM food could help fight obesity
According to a Forbes blog, policy makers committed to fighting obesity should deregulate genetically modified foods because they provide health and economic benefits. Dr. Henry Miller, founding director of the Office of Biotechnology at the FDA and current fellow at the Hoover Institution, says, “The adoption of scientifically sound, risk-based regulation of biotechnology by USDA and EPA could transform the current trickle of commercial products into a torrent. The result would be the founding of new companies; new products; and the creation of jobs and new wealth - as well as lower prices and greater availability of healthful fresh fruits and vegetables. Read more.
USDA Sec. Vilsack calls for recognition of farmers on National Ag Day
According to the Morris Sun Tribune, USDA Sec. Tom Vilsack recognized the valuable contributions of farmers and ranchers on National Ag Day. “Agriculture touches everyone’s life in one way or another, yet our farmers and ranchers can often be overlooked for the important work they do, and we should all take time during this day to thank producers for a job well done,” Vilsack said. Read more.