Welcome to the August newsletter. Growers for Biotechnology is alive and well, although somewhat quite recently while we rebuilt and updated our website that was hacked and destroyed. The new website is GrowersForBiotechnology.com.
We have been actively participating in a variety of events including the annual Biotechnology Industry Organization convention, State Agriculture and Rural Leaders annual meeting, the Council of State Governments, the National Conference of State Legislatures annual meeting, and many other events.
The news of biotechnology continues to be a mixed bag. On the positive side, BIO and the leading technology providers have launched a new website to provide positive information on the industry through a question and answer format with respected experts answering questions from the public, GMOAnswers.com.
There are also announcements of new varieties of seed being made available and major investment in facilities being built or expanded. Acres planted to GM seed continue to grow around the world. Acceptance of genetically improved crops continues to expand with China recently accepting a shipload of GM corn for the first time.
A recent article in the New York Times lays out the problem of citrus greening and that biotechnology appears to be the only solution to saving the industry. We hope people reading the news over their orange juice in the morning took notice.
Unfortunately, there is also plenty of negative news about the continuing opposition to GM. The fight over GM labeling continues with some Northeast states passing labeling laws, although with many requirements before they take effect. Washington State will have a labeling initiative on their ballot this fall very similar to Prop 37 in California last year. Both sides for this fight are raising large quantities of money.
And, there are bans on GMO planting being proposed in both Oregon and Hawaii in certain counties of each state. Hawaii is particularly troubling since the papaya industry is totally dependent on the GMO papaya for industry survival.
The investigation into the finding of Roundup Ready wheat in Oregon is ongoing. After thousands of tests no other wheat has been found anywhere in the Northwest showing the Roundup Ready trait. The finding of this wheat is beginning to look very suspicious. The good news is that after several months of a buying freeze all the major purchasers, including Japan, have re-entered the market.
We at Growers for Biotechnology hope you find some of these articles useful and that you enjoy the remainder of the summer
Washington State University researchers have tested all the university’s wheat varieties, as well as others around the Northwest, and found none with the genetically modified herbicide resistance discovered in an Oregon crop this spring
On August fish — sorry, make that August 5th — anti-GMO activists will be launching a nationwide demonstration with a visual punch.
After four days of passionate public testimony and extensive internal deliberations, a Hawaii County Council bill that would have placed restrictions on genetically modified crops on the Big Island has been withdrawn.
Another initiative effort to ban growing genetically modified crops is under way in Oregon, bringing to three the number of counties that could vote on anti-GM ballot measures in the next year.
Ann Kneeland, spokesperson for Support Local Food Rights, said the initiative was rejected for failing to meet the single-subject rule, which states that an initiative can address only one issue or subject.
Chobani’s nearly 1 million square foot plant in Twin Falls, Idaho, is the largest yogurt plant in the world and processes 2 million pounds of milk a day to make 4.2 million cases of yogurt a week.