Proposition 37 -- An Impending Setback for Farmers

October 19, 2012 04:43 AM

Proposition 37 in California will decide if foods and products containing genetically modified organisms (GMO) should indicate that fact on product labels. Some estimates have up to 70% of the food on grocery store shelves as being touched in some way by GMOs. That is a lot of new labels, and the ensuing updates to product packaging would certainly chase prices of those items higher in a time when food prices are already expected to climb.

Much of the concern over GMOs was set off by a French study which suggested a correlation between GMOs and an increase in cancer in laboratory rats. The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) immediately shot down the study saying, "...a recent paper raising concerns about the potential toxicity of genetically modified maize NK603 and of a herbicide containing glyphosate is of insufficient scientific quality to be considered as valid for risk assessment."

In other words, the French study, in the mind of the EFSA, was carried out incorrectly and the results are of no use. It is true, many of the rats in that study did come down with cancerous tumors after having been fed extraordinary amounts of GMO corn. But the final write up of the study fails to mention that nearly just as many rats in the control group, which received no GMOs, developed cancerous tumors as those rats who were exposed to GMOs.

Drought resistant corn, roundup-ready seed...these agricultural developments in technology have contributed to increased yields and have suppressed world food prices by keeping our crops flourishing, whatever the weather.

California voters will decide on November 6 if Proposition 37 will become law in that state.

If activism and fear are allowed to overtake the advances the American way of growing has forged, food prices will be tethered to panic, future technological advances will be muted and stifled and the American farmer could wind up paying much more for inputs which produce smaller yields. Your Inputs Monitor reported on the possible ramifications for the inputs industry in an earlier article. (Click here for the story) The American farmer needs all the advantages the modern Ag industry has to offer and if political activism is allowed to dictate how farming is done, the Ag industry will suffer from inputs producers and factories, to the farmer in the soil, to the everyday grocery shopping consumer.



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