A new Farm Bureau advocacy website is giving farmers and ranchers a simple way to “Get a Move On” for GMOs. Launched recently, GetaMoveOn.fb.org allows producers to support a national, science-based labeling standard similar to the approach taken in the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act (H.R. 1599).
“This website has a very specific function: To motivate farmers and ranchers to take action in support of important innovation in agriculture,” says Andrew Walmsley, American Farm Bureau Federation biotechnology specialist.
“Whether you grow corn and soybeans in the Midwest, cotton in the South, dairy and potatoes in the Northeast or apples in the West, access to crop traits that resist pests, diseases and drought stress are helping you grow more food using less land, water, fuel and pesticide. And this is just the beginning of the benefits biotechnology will offer in the future.”
Sending Important Message
From the website, farmers and ranchers can send their House member an email encouraging him or her to pass the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act. The bill will clarify the Food and Drug Administration as the nation’s foremost authority on food safety and create a voluntary labeling program run by the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service, the same agency that administers the USDA Organic Program.
The legislation will provide a federal solution to protect consumers from a confusing patchwork of 50-state GMO labeling policies and the misinformation and high food costs that would come with them.
“State-led mandatory food labels mask the benefits of biotechnology in food production and can lead to decreased food supplies,” Walmsley says. “Creating a national labeling standard will give consumers the information they need while avoiding the unnecessary confusion and added cost of a patchwork of state laws.”
Through GetaMoveOn.fb.org, farmers not only can connect with their lawmakers, but find state-by-state fact sheets detailing the value and share of GMO crops in each state. They can then share this information in their emails.
In addition to the advocacy site, Farm Bureau’s grassroots toolkit continues to be a good guide for farmers and ranchers who want to share the many positives about biotechnology with policymakers, community members and others. Accessible at www.fb.org/biotech, this free online resource includes an overview of biotechnology and explanation of its many benefits.
Farm Bureau contributed this article.