FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, May 15, 2013

New crop technology means higher yields with less environmental impact

 

LANSING – Advances in crop technology are allowing farmers to grow more food while using fewer resources, said Dave Tierney, director of government affairs at Monsanto, at a monthly gathering of the Agricultural Leaders of Michigan in Lansing this week.

“Our industry has a track record to be proud of,” said
Tierney. “Thanks to technological advances, farmers today grow twice as much food as their parents did – using less land, energy, and water and creating fewer emissions.”

According to Tierney, growing global populations will put increased demands on food production in the future. He predicts that to keep up with population growth, more food will have to be produced in the next 50 years than was produced in the past 10,000 years combined.

​Tierney went on to discuss food safety and labeling for foods containing biotech ingredients, pointing out that biotech foods are more strictly regulated that any other agricultural or food product in history.

“In the United States, the Department of Agriculture, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Food and Drug Administration all have to approve new biotech traits,” said Tierney. “The U.S. system is really the gold standard for regulation.”

T
he international scientific community, including the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, the National Research Council, and the American Medical Association, has determined foods that contain biotech ingredients are as safe as conventional foods. Additionally, the FDA has determined that there is no significant difference between foods produced using biotechnology and their conventional counterparts.

According to Tierney, requiring mandatory labeling for products containing ingredients derived from biotechnology would provide no health or safety benefit, but would alarm consumers by implying that the food may not be safe and could have a substantial negative impact on agricultural growth and productivity.​