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Meridian Institute

Ag Groups Urge Practical Biotech Crop Policy

Summary posted by Meridian on 6/15/2012

Source: Ag Professional (15 June 2012)

Author(s): Rich Keller

In the U.S., nine national agricultural associations have sent a letter to the ranking members of the House of Representatives’ Appropriations Committee, expressing support for a provision in the fiscal year 2013 appropriations bill that would give farmers assurance that genetically modified (GM) crops that have already been approved by U.S. Department of Agriculture can be planted and harvested under temporary stewardship conditions in the event of litigation against the USDA’s registration decision. “Opponents of agricultural biotechnology have repeatedly filed suits against USDA on procedural grounds in order to disrupt the regulatory process and undermine the science-based regulation of such products,” the letter states. The wording that could be included in the House of Representatives’ appropriations bill was introduced by Agriculture Subcommittee Chairman Jack Kingston, a Republican from the U.S. state of Georgia. The provision (Section 733) “addresses a costly vulnerability in the regulatory process for biotechnology that is discouraging innovation in agriculture and unnecessarily putting farmers at financial risk,” the letter signees argue. ““The inclusion of Section 733 is a positive step to ensure that U.S. farmers and our food chain are shielded from supply disruptions caused by litigation over procedural issues unrelated to sound science or the safety of biotech crops. This legislative solution ensures that national agricultural policy is not being decided by the court system," they add. The associations that signed the letter were: the Agricultural Retailers Association, the American Farm Bureau Federation, the American Seed Trade Association, the American Soybean Association, the American Sugarbeet Growers Association, the Biotechnology Industry Organization, the National Association of Wheat Growers, the National Corn Growers Association and the National Cotton Council. The article can be viewed online at the link below.

The original article may still be available at http://www.agprofessional.com/news/Ag-groups-urge-practical-biotech-crop-policy-159086035.html

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