Food and Agriculture in 2 Minutes
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Ag Professional reports farmers, researchers, and other biotech supporters have taken to social media after Stonyfield Organics began deleting pro-GMO comments on Facebook. The censorship was in response to critics who argue Stonyfield’s ad video utilized children to spread the company’s anti-GMO message. University of Florida Professor Kevin Folta says argues that there is no room for mistruths or unfair censorship when discussing ag technology and advancements.
Also discussing misinformation, Press Trust of India reports on remarks made by scientist Richard Roberts who was criticizing anti-GMO claims. The Nobel Prize winner urged politicians not to pay attention to those who oppose science with nonsense and lies, and instead listen to experts. He asserts that the misinformation spread by anti-GMO activists is killing people, by incorrectly preventing scientific innovation from providing solutions to global issues including malnutrition and crop disease.
Meanwhile, In the U.S., the Washington Examiner reports on the Environmental Protection Agency’s plans to transform the Endangered Species Act. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt announces the new goal is to implement a system which ensures endangered species aren’t harmed when approving the use of new pesticides. Many state officials and members in the ag industry applauded the announcement, voicing appreciation for the Administration’s effort to consult with rural America.
In other pesticide news, Capital Press reports a Washington State committee passed a bill to to develop plans by which farmers would notify the state and public before spraying pesticides. The bill requires farmers to inform the Health Department four days in advance of spraying, but farmers argue they don’t know that far in advance if weather will let them spray and need to react more quickly to pests. The task force includes representatives from a variety of stakeholders to ensure the a compromise solution for everyone.
Maya Menon, Washington.