Farm Bureau Strengthens Biotech Policy
» December 15, 2004 «
A stronger endorsement of agricultural biotechnology emerged from policy discussions at the California Farm Bureau Federation Annual Meeting.
Delegates to the meeting in Sparks, Nev., modified Farm Bureau policy to say the organization should "support and protect" the use and development of biotechnology. They also emphasized that any new biotechnology regulations should be built upon the "best available science," and that approval of new products should be based on "safety and efficacy."
The delegates represented 53 county Farm Bureaus. Their votes set policies that Farm Bureau will follow during the coming year.
In amending the organization's biotech policy, delegates voted to oppose cities and counties establishing their own separate policies on biotechnology. Three California counties have voted to ban agricultural biotechnology, but voters in three other counties rejected anti-biotech initiatives in November.
"Our delegates believe that agricultural biotechnology provides new ways to assure safe, affordable food for consumers while benefiting the environment," said CFBF President Bill Pauli. "While discussing our policy, delegates stressed the need to increase consumer awareness of biotechnology's many benefits and vast potential."
Among other actions, Farm Bureau delegates adopted new policy language that urges governments to view agriculture as a "strategic resource" when creating laws and regulations at the local, state and federal levels. Farm Bureau's new policy language notes that the nation's economy, environment and national security depend upon a viable agricultural sector.
Delegates also voted to urge government agencies-state and federal-to take steps to ensure adequate fuel supplies, including harmonizing fuel standards at the national level. They stressed that it should be a Farm Bureau and state of California priority to proceed with energy development reforms and infrastructure development.
The California Farm Bureau Federation is the state's largest farm organization, representing more than 89,000 members statewide.
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