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Biotech contributes to a sustainable future

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As a farmer, I care about growing safe, healthy food for my family and yours. I also care about protecting our environmentand natural resources.

I grow corn and soybeans including some varieties of GMOs (genetically modified organisms), also known as biotech seeds. A GMO is an organism whose DNA has been altered using genetic engineering techniques so that it contains one or more desired genes.

Today, eight crops can be grown from GMO seed varieties in the U.S.: corn (field and sweet), soybeans, cotton, canola, alfalfa, sugar beets, papaya and squash. Two more — one for apples and one for potatoes — are approved and will be commercially available soon.

To claim GMOs are not tested is simply not true. Biotech seeds are the most heavily scrutinized and rigorously tested products in the history of agriculture. Each type of GMO is tested for toxicity, potential allergens and environmental impact before it comes to market.

Thousands of studies, many by independent researchers, show GMOs pose no unique risks to human or animal health. This research includes multi-year and multi-generation animal feeding studies.

If you want to dive into the research, check out the GENERA database at http://genera.biofortified.org.

On my farm, using GMO seeds has helped me use fewer pesticides and reduce tillage, which limits soil erosion and reduces my carbon footprint. I believe biotechnology is an important tool that can be used responsibly to meet the needs of a growing population and contribute to a more sustainable future.

Gerald Thompson

Colfax

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