Forum- The Effects of GMOs on Idaho Agriculture
Thursday, January 8, 2015, 11:45 am - 1:15 pm
Trent Clark, Monsanto I Jenny Easley, GMO free Idaho
Almost everyone has an opinion about GMOs. The biotechnology industry says the genetic modification of food crops and livestock can increase yields, extend shelf life and reduce food waste. Advocates believe GMOs may be the key to feeding a growing global population. Yet, genetically modified organisms remain controversial because of conflicts over labeling and the threats they pose to organic and non-GMO food producers. Several nations have required labeling or banned the import of GMO foods. Voters in several states have defeated GMO-labeling measures. The issues are not black and white. Farmers and ranchers, for instance, are caught between needing every technological edge to make a profit in a highly competitive industry and do their best to sustain their land. Other farmers must face how to protect crops from cross-contamination. Can GMOs and non-GMOs coexist? In November, Monsanto settled for $2.1 million with a group of Oregon wheat farmers who discovered 'rogue' patches of GMO wheat in their fields that caused suspensions of wheat exports to Japan and South Korea. Our speakers will explore these issues and answer audience questions. Trent Clark is Public and Government Affairs Director at Monsanto, a large agribusiness perceived as one of the nation's foremost advocates of GMO development. Jenny Easley is co-founder and president of the non-profit GMO Free Idaho, which works with consumers, farmers and businesses to make informed decisions regarding GMOs and understanding how they affect the environment, economy and health.