ASA Says Current Coexistence Efforts are Working
American Soybean Association President Ray Gaesser is urging USDA to take a practical and scientific approach to enhancing agricultural coexistence. In comments submitted to USDA this week - the Iowa farmer also urged USDA to consider the already extensive work on coexistence underway in the industry. In Gaesser's comments - ASA reinforced its position that there's no real evidence current efforts to achieve coexistence between neighboring producers aren't working. The comments also pointed to the failure of the Advisory Committee on Biotechnology and the 21st Century Agriculture to identify any data that shows contamination between IP, conventional and organic farming has occurred or is a significant problem warranting additional steps beyond enhanced communication and education. Gaesser said farmers of many kinds of different cropping systems have a long and successful history of coexistence. He noted some farmers grow crops for high-quality seed production, some grow specialty varieties within conventional crops, some grow ornamentals or vegetables and others grow non-GMO and organic crops. Gaesser said all require that the grower hoping to raise one of these premium crops take prudent management steps and communicate with neighbors. He said ASA has seen no data to suggest that such management and communication isn't working.
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