The Agriculture Department’s Advisory Committee on Biotechnology and 21st Century Agriculture has presented a report to Secretary Tom Vilsack on ways to promote coexistence in agriculture. Vilsack tasked the committee with providing recommendations for strengthening coexistence among various agricultural production methods. The report is the outcome of a year-long discussion and is to be used as guidance to enhance working relationships among farmers growing different types of crops – specifically biotech and non-biotech crops. Committee member Barry Bushue is Vice President of the American Farm Bureau Federation. Bushue says the report’s recommendations could benefit all of agriculture.
The report highlights the importance of diversity in U.S. agriculture and the history of successful coexistence in identity-preserved markets – whereby production practices maintain each crop’s integrity and purity. As American farmers continue to innovate – Bushue is optimistic the committee’s recommendations can help identify coexistence practices where they are working, improve stewardship where needed and mitigate much of the underlying concerns about the real and perceived risks related to coexistence. He says the report emphasizes proactive grower outreach and education.
According to Bushue – the Advisory Committee carefully weighed the evidence, listened to the needs of growers and emphasized improved stewardship and neighbor-to-neighbor coexistence.
To see the full report – visit www.usda.gov. Click on the Biotechnology link under the Topics heading and then select the USDA Advisory Committee on Biotechnology and 21st Century Agriculture link. Look for the November 19th AC21 Final Report.
Source: NAFB News Service