U.S. Farmer Cites Pros of Growing Genetically Modified Food Crops

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Leading benefits include increased productivity and the improved environmental sustainability of his farm.

Well, I would like to rephrase the question and ask them, ‘What are the risks of not moving forward with biotechnology?’ In my mind, we face a much greater risk of not moving forward. Where all of a sudden, we could be faced with the inability to produce the food that this world’s going to need.

In 2006, U.S. farmers were the largest adopters of plant biotechnology globally, planting 136.5 million acres (54.6 million hectares) of GM crops. In a new online video and podcast on the Conversations about Plant Biotechnology Web site at http://www.monsanto.com/biotech-gmo, U.S. farmer Terry Wanzek describes the pros of genetically modified food crops, including an increase in time for his family and an increase in the environmental sustainability of his farm.

“Those of us who farm care deeply about the total environment – the total surroundings. If we contaminate or destroy or ruin our soils and our environment, we only hurt ourselves,” says Wanzek, a husband, father of three children and fourth-generation farmer. “We have a vested interest in seeing that there’s good stewardship and good environmental practices occurring in our farms.”

Wanzek, his parents and his brother’s family farm approximately 10,000 acres (4,000 hectares) in southeastern North Dakota. Since first planting biotech corn in 19xx and adopting biotech soybeans in 19xx, they have seen productivity and the environmental sustainability of the farm increase due to the production of GM crops.

“Everybody questions, ‘What’s the risk of biotechnology?’” says Wanzek. “Well, I would like to rephrase the question and ask them, ‘What are the risks of not moving forward with biotechnology?’ In my mind, we face a much greater risk of not moving forward. Where all of a sudden, we could be faced with the inability to produce the food that this world’s going to need.”

“The only other alternative to productivity gains through technology is to farm more land to feed the world. And when you go out and start tilling or plowing more vulnerable, fragile land, you’re exposing the environment to risk,” Wanzek continues, citing additional pros of genetically modified food crops.

In addition to this video with Wanzek, visitors to the Conversations about Plant Biotechnology Web site can watch videos with four of his fellow US farmers – Paul Aasness, Jay Harwick, Al Skogen and Gordon Wassenaar – as well as farmers from 11 other countries who also discuss their experiences with biotech crops.

Conversations about Plant Biotechnology is designed to give a voice and a face to the farmers and families who grow biotech crops and the experts who research and study the technology. The Web site contains more than 50, two- to three-minute, extremely candid, straightforward and compelling video segments with the people who know the technology best. The Web site is hosted by Monsanto Company — a leading global provider of technology-based solutions and agricultural products that improve farm productivity and food quality.

Contact:    

Ranjana Smetacek

314-694-2642

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