August 27, 2013 TACKLE Event – GMO – – in full on YouTube!

You can now view our August TACKLE with TAC4 event on GMO in full on YouTube! Watch it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-KGsVnXQLsk

Thanks to Jennifer Elwell (Kentucky Corn Growers Association) and John Moody (Farm to Defense Legal Defense Fund) for their excellent panel discussion.

The results from pursuing their Needs, Fears, and Concerns are:

Jennifer Elwell

Needs:

  • Ability to choose food
  • Ability for farmers to choose what to grow
  • Need for food production to be maximized to feed growing population
  • Reduce pesticide use (inputs)
    • Because of costs and health
  • Recognizing GMO is not the only scientific research going on
  • A better job of education about how GMOs work
  • Safety of farm workers through less chemical contact

Fears:

  • If we block all GMOs, dramatic return to increase in inputs
  • Labeling would cause more consumer fear

Solutions:

  • Open conversation between neighboring farmers on planning seasons to prevent cross-pollination
  • Industry open to labeling
  • Continue/expand research into all available options
  • Third party studies

John Moody

Needs:

  • Ability to choose food
  • Ability for farmers to choose what to grow
  • To differentiate hybridization and genetic modification
  • Level playing field
    • Subsidization tilts toward GMO crops
    • Government regulations favor monoculture farming
  • Need to protect against development of new allergies

Fears:

  • Genetic drift
  • Health harm possibility
    • At a minimum, there are significant health concerns
  • History of false safety claims continue

Solutions:

  • Reduce amount of GMOs being planted
  • Ban GMOs until safety and benefits are clearly established
  • Designating portions of USA for organic farming and buffering areas
  • Level subsidy playing field

Audience Concerns

Needs:

  • See details of studies – transparency
  • Labeling
  • Full disclosure as to what subsidies and companies are involved in studies
    • Adhere to what science says
    • Pass science laws
  • A stable land base with people working on land
  • Recognize that without GMOs we can reduce inputs with economic and health benefits

Fears:

  • That the science is contaminated
  • Some illnesses that could come from GMOs might not be obvious in short-term tests
  • Corporate control of seeds and inputs will erode agricultural land base, viability, and prices
  • Suicide seeds

Solutions:

  • Remove all subsidies