11-14 IAT Vilsack GMO
GMO is a very controversial topic but that does not mean that our Secretary of Agriculture doesn't have an opinion. He chatted recently with the Northwest Ag Information Network's Kay Dee Gilkey. "I think first and foremost our view at the USDA is that different types of production processes should valued and should be respected and that folks should be able to produce the products in the way that makes the best sense for them and their families. If folks want to use genetically modified or genetically engineered crops, to increase productivity and to meet increased demand domestically and globally, they ought to be able to do that as long as they can do it in an appropriate way. If you want to be an organic producer and take advantage of that high value opportunity, you ought to be able to do that as well which is why we formed a program called AC 21 at USDA to try to look at ways in which producers could essentially coexist more effectively by understanding the various production methods and making sure that risks are minimized. In terms of consumers, the reality is that traditionally and historically we have labeled for safety issues or for nutrition issues. Realistically neither one addresses GM from our view and our perspective but there may be a way to use 21st-century technology to provide consumers the information they need without necessarily getting into a discussion about whether or not you label a product and if so, what is on the label."