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While Congress hasn’t achieved much in 2017, it did conduct to pass a bill fortitude — and within that budget, a sum of $3 million stands out.
Congress appropriated that $3 million to fund the Agricultural Biotechnology Education and Outreach Initiative. That’s a partnership between the Food Drug Administration (FDA) and the Department of Agriculture (USDA) “to yield consumer preparation on rural biotechnology and food and animal feed mixture subsequent from biotechnology.”
What they’re really articulate about is a promotional campaign for genetically mutated organisms, or GMOs.
There are two major flaws with this plan.
First, the FDA is tasked with building a campaign around the “safety and advantages of crop biotechnology.” But what about the risks, concerns, and unknowns?
Leaving those out means using supervision agencies and taxpayer supports for corporate propaganda. It advantages companies like Monsanto, Dow, Dupont, Syngenta, and Bayer, which collectively earn billions of dollars from these technologies, but does little to surprise consumers.
Second, the beginning will pull brazen “science-based” education. The doubt is: Whose scholarship are they using?
There’s very little eccentric or supervision investigate on GMOs and their analogous pesticides. The miss of unprejudiced and extensive scholarship on biotechnology is a outcome of companies determining who can do investigate on biotech products.
Much of the existent investigate is possibly industry-funded or true out of biotechnology companies’ own labs. The existent regulatory horizon relies on intentional stating and doesn’t need eccentric corroboration to infer the reserve of new products before they land on cooking plates opposite the country.
If the government’s going to teach consumers on biotechnology, it must first do its own unprejudiced studies on the long-term environmental and health impacts of existent GMOs and pesticides. It also needs a much some-more severe — and imperative — regulatory process.
The supervision must tell consumers the full truth, presenting offset and unprejudiced information on the benefits, risks, and concerns around biotechnology. The FDA must plainly residence consumer concerns about long-term environmental impacts, corporate change on supervision research, and corporate control of the industrialized food system.
We’re at a branch indicate in story where we can retreat the mistreat that we’ve finished to the communities, farmland, and environment.
Industrialized, chemical-intensive cultivation designed to work around biotechnology is a unsuccessful system. It’s augmenting herbicide use, exacerbating insecticide resistance, polluting the waterways, soil, and air, and compelling rarely processed food and cramped animal production.
In sequence to build a some-more tolerable food complement for the health and the climate, we need to pierce divided from chemical-intensive agriculture. Rather than compelling corporate interests, that $3 million would be much better used to promote the transition to regenerative organic agriculture, to build civic food hubs, and to assist the next era of farmers in accessing land and resources.
The FDA doesn’t need a biotechnology selling initiative. It needs an beginning to bring back open trust in sovereign regulatory agencies, and pierce the country brazen towards truly tolerable agriculture.
Anna Meyer is the Food Campaigns Fellow at Green America, where she frequently blogs about the problems with industrial agriculture, GMOs, and other food and sustainability issues.