Last week I told you about a ballot measure in Jackson County, Oregon that seeks to ban GMOs from being grown in the county. As it turns out, the definition of “genetically modified” in the legislation is messy and incorrect, meaning some crops will be included in the ban that have been used for 60-70 years in Oregon. The list also includes some used by organic farmers (who are by and large the biggest supporters of the proposal).
Oh, and the scientists think this is a ridiculous idea too. By banning the technology scientist,Martina Newell-McGloughlin from the University of California also cautions a widespread ban such as this one because it means farmers cannot take advantage of the newest and best technology. As she mentions in the video below, biotechnology has already reduced the amount of insecticide use by a billion pounds — that’s 80%! Turning away from technology, especially in agriculture, is a very bad thing.
That’s important to think about whether we’re talking about banning GMOs in Oregon or labeling them in other parts of the country. Taking away technology decreases yields and increases environmental impact.