Armed with science-based facts, farmers set to stand up for biotechnology

WASHINGTON—The American Farm Bureau Federation is encouraging farmers across the country to speak out in favor of biotechnology through a just-launched advocacy campaign.

Farm Bureau is encouraging farmers to “Get a Move On” and share their support for a national, science-based food labeling standard like the approach taken in H.R. 1599, the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act.

“Now is the time for farmers and ranchers to take action in support of innovation in agriculture,” said AFBF President Bob Stallman. “Access to crop traits that resist pests, diseases and drought stress is helping farmers across the nation grow more food using less land, water, fuel and pesticides. Biotechnology will offer even more benefits in the future.”

Farm Bureau has created a website,, from which producers can send emails to legislators encouraging them to vote “Yes” for the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act. The bill would clarify the Food and Drug Administration as the nation’s foremost authority on food safety. It also would create a voluntary labeling program run by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Service, which administers the USDA Organic Program.

The legislation provides a national solution to protect consumers from a patchwork of state GMO labeling policies, and the potential for misinformation and high food costs that would come with them.

“Virginia farmers would like to see accurate product labeling that doesn’t mislead consumers with non-science-based claims,” said Lindsay Reames, Virginia Farm Bureau Federation assistant director of governmental relations.

The “Get a Move On” site also offers farmers state-specific facts about the use and value of GMO crops, which they can share with decision-makers.

“It’s critical that we as farmers help our lawmakers understand that there’s a cost associated with discouraging agricultural innovation,” Stallman said. “That cost will go well beyond the higher prices consumers will pay at the supermarket if each state passes its own GMO labeling law.”

In Virginia, 96 percent of cotton, 94 percent of soybeans and 93 percent of corn is grown with GMO seeds. Soybeans are worth $284 million, corn is valued at $196 million and cotton contributes $77 million to the state’s economy annually.

In addition to the advocacy site, Farm Bureau has a grassroots site at, that includes an overview of biotechnology; an explanation of biotechnology’s benefits to consumers, the environment, farmers and the U.S. economy; and links to credible sources for biotech information.

Media: Contact Reames at 804-290-1019.

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