Idaho farmers divided on GMO labeling

Some Idaho farmers would like the Legislature to pass a bill to forestall a statewide initiative that would require labeling of all genetically modified foods.

Initiatives to require labeling of genetically modified organisms – GMOs – have died in Washington, Oregon and Colorado in part due to multimillion-dollar ad campaigns by the food industry.

Americans always like transparency, but when they learn just how widespread GMOs already are in our diets, voters have been receptive to the industry’s arguments that labeling just adds costs without meaningful benefit.

Most of the corn and soybeans spread throughout the foods we eat comes from genetically modified seeds. Agribusiness has expanded this technology overwhelmingly since the 1980s.

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But Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Bert Brackett said he doesn’t think a bill that prevents labeling will go anywhere this legislative session, because farmers themselves are divided.

The fact is, most people know little or nothing about GMOs. The Boise City Club and the Idaho Environmental Forum hosted a good discussion Thursday featuring two of the key Idaho voices in the debate. On one side was Trent Clark, public affairs director in Soda Springs for Monsanto, the large agribusiness that is one of the nation’s leading advocates of genetically modified crops. On the other side was Jenny Easley, of Middleton, co-founder and president of the nonprofit GMO Free Idaho.

Read full, original article: Rocky Barker: Idaho farmers divided over GMO labeling

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