Video: Hillary Clinton endorses GMOs, solution-focused crop biotechnology

Hillary Clinton has officially accepted the nomination to be the democrat’s nominee for president, becoming the first women to head up the presidential ticket of a major US political party.

In 2014, during a a 65-minute question and answer appearance at the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) convention in San Diego, she expressed her support for genetically modified crops and crop biotechnology. Clinton conversed with Jim Greenwood, BIO president, on a wide range of topics including GMOs.

“I stand in favor of using seeds and products that have a proven track record,” Clinton said, adding that biotech professionals need to continue to try to make the case for GMO-skeptics. “There is a big gap between what the facts are, and what the perceptions are.”

Clinton noted that there are unwarranted fears surrounding GMOs because many people do not understand science or biotechnology and are easily swayed by code words and misguided perceptions. “Genetically modified sounds ‘Frankensteinish’ – drought resistant sounds really like something you want,” she said.

Clinton’s full talk is available in the video embedded below. Her comments on biotechnology begin at approximately 29 minutes in.

Clinton noted her own experiences of promoting drought-resistant seeds in Africa and meeting resistance to her efforts.

We talk about drought-resistant seeds, and I’ve promoted them all over Africa. By definition, they have been engineered to be drought-resistant, I mean that’s the beauty of them. Maybe somebody can get their harvest done and not starve, and maybe there’s some left over to sell. And yet I’ve been involved in a lot of the political debates in other countries about whether or not to accept certain kinds of seeds.

Clinton emphasized the need for a comprehensive educational effort to help farmers, governments and the public accept genetically modified crops.

We created a program called Feed the Future, which is trying to help the farmers be educated enough to know that drought-resistant seeds, for example, are not going to hurt them….and this is painstaking work, doesn’t get solved overnight. You have to be working at the top with the departments of agriculture, with finance ministries, with prime ministers and presidents’ offices, and you have to be working from the bottom up. I don’t see the short cut for it.

Clinton called for a new vocabulary in conversations about biotechnology that focuses on the benefits of improved crops.

“‘Genetically modified’ sounds Frankensteinish. ‘Drought resistance’ sounds really – something you want. So how do you create a different vocabulary to talk about what it is you’re trying to help people do,” Clinton said, encouraging biotechnology companies to be more thoughtful about the way their research is being communicated.

Clinton also said that she did not want to see the U.S. lose biotechnology companies as they move out of the country to elsewhere that might have a friendlier tax and regulatory system for biotechnology.

I don’t want to see biotech companies or pharma companies moving out of our country simply because of some perceived tax disadvantage and potential tax advantage somewhere else.

65 thoughts on “Video: Hillary Clinton endorses GMOs, solution-focused crop biotechnology”

  1. Nothing very genetically literate about Hilary Clinton’s comments as reported above. There are no GM drought resistant seeds in Africa or anywhere else – the concept is great but it has yet to be realized. Drought resistance is a complex trait involving many genes, not all of which are yet understood.

    • Comac, you’re wrong, there is actually at least one GM drought resistant crop in the US. It’s called droughtgard. And it’s performing. Look it up.

      • Performing poorly, according to UCS.

        Monsanto’s “DroughtGard” Corn Barely a Drop in the Bucket

        Report Finds Limited Prospects for Genetically Engineered Crops to Combat Drought and Conserve Water

        WASHINGTON (June 5, 2012)— Monsanto’s new drought tolerant corn, DroughtGard, reduces crop losses only modestly during moderate droughts, and will not reduce the crop’s water requirements, according to a report released today by the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS). The report found that traditional breeding and improved farming practices have done more to increase drought tolerance, and that further improvements in genetic engineering are unlikely to solve the drought problem in coming years.

        • i think it’s best to ask farmers how the seed performed..

          Justin Koehler of McLean, Neb., planted Channel Seeds DroughtGard hybrids on 25% of his corn acres in 2014.

          Koehler raises about 2,000 acres of dryland crops on rolling hills with variable soils in northeast Nebraska. Because most of the corn is used in the family’s livestock operation and does not leave the farm, Koehler was among the first growers to try DroughtGard.

          “We’ve planted DroughtGard hybrids since the bad drought year of 2012,” Koehler says. “They did well under the extreme stress. This year, we had plenty of rain and they performed really well again.”

          Koehler planted Channel DroughtGard 211-00, 214-00 and 209-00 at about 24,000 seeds per acre. “They all were at least 5-10 bushels per acre more than our conventional corn,” Koehler says.

          Admitting that seed corn pricing is very complex, Koehler estimates that the DroughtGard trait costs about $10 per acre. “Considering that the DroughtGard hybrids consistently yield 10-15 bushels better, the trait more than pays for itself in yield.”

          Koehler plans to double the number of acres he plants to DroughtGard hybrids in 2015, going from 25% in 2014 to 50% next season.

          • I am curious just how many acres did he plant in 2014, he raises 2,000 acres total but the hybrids were on 25 % of his corn acres, it then states he planted 3 different hybrids and they were all 5-10 bushels per acre more than our conventional corn. He estimates the cost per acre to use DroughtGard at about $10 per acre, but considering the hybrids consistently yield 10-15 bushels better the trait pays for itself in yield. How did 5-10 become 10-15, and I am not a farmer but if you use the 5-10 number those extra bushels cost him between $1-$2 each could a farmer tell me how many bushels of corn an acre typically yields, it is also stated that they have planted the hybrids since the bad drought year of 2012, so they planted in 2013 and says they did well under the extreme stress but no yield numbers except for this year when they had plenty of rain, so how does it actually perform during a drought they don’t say, as the numbers are from a year with plenty of rain, most of the corn is used in there livestock operation so I assume it is some type of cattle corn they are growing. They also refer to the.plants as hybrids so are they even GE or GMO’s and Hillary talks like drought resistant crops are the only GMO, thinks it’s sounds frankensteinish, probably why they call the Genetically Modified Organism, which isn,t a plant a frankenfish, why farm fish and have to wait for them to grow to a size that is sellable when a little gene tweaking and splicing and they will grow really fast, if I go to buy fish don’t I have a right to know that the fish I am buying to eat has under gone genetic modifications.

          • You obviously are out of your depth with these simple farming concepts. Sounds like your ADD or other issues are kicking in here, have you skipped your meds today? Good luck with pulling yourself together, I guess.

      • Why Genetically Modified, Drought-Resistant Seeds Are a Waste of Time and Money

        Monsanto Fails at Improving Agriculture. “Monsanto’s products—and the practices they promote—may sustain the company’s profits, but the evidence shows that they stand in the way of truly sustainable solutions to our food and farming challenges.” “Research has shown that organic farming methods could improve drought-year yields by up to 96%.”

        GM Crops Do Not Increase Yields

        All Wet on Drought Tolerance.. “If farmers want to conserve more water, Monsanto’s DroughtGard corn isn’t the right tool. A recent UCS study found that DroughtGard won’t help farmers reduce water use..”

        Over 800 world scientists agree: GM crops are BAD. “The scientists are extremely concerned about the hazards of GMOs to biodiversity, food safety, human and animal health, and demand a moratorium on environmental releases..” “They call for a ban on patents of life-forms and living processes which threaten food security..”

        • Susan, all of the sites you post from are “junk science” sources. If you can find a source from a reputable INDEPENDENT (university based) or government site, fine, but quoting from the flying yogic fraud site ‘responsible technology” of from Doug Gurian-Sherman, the science denier recently canned from the Union of Concerned Scientists (an anti-GMO NGO), is not convincing to those of us who ascribe to INDEPENDENT evidence.

        • Susan, your comments and these non–“studies” try to make us believe – incredulously — that GE crops don’t increase yields, and don’t improve agriculture. Do you really think our farmers are just plain shambling idiots who have no idea what they’re putting in the ground? Of course they do, and that’s why they buy them. Are YOU a farmer? Or have you ever talked to a farmer about why they use GE seeds?

          • unreal …. people like Sadie who have never set foot on a farm
            know all there is to it about the business

    • there are many drought resistant seeds, i am not sure why you think the opposite it’s not some secret seed experiment , there are both GM and hybrid drought resistant seeds’s one it’s a non GM from monsanto

      here’s a few more

  2. XiaoZhi Lim is a pro GMO wanker. Anyone before buying this spin watch the movies “Food Inc.” and “Seeds
    of Death” to hear the other side of this topic. GMO’s are bad OK.

  3. “We talk about drought-resistant seeds … Maybe somebody can get their harvest done and not starve, and maybe there’s some left over to sell …”
    What a typical politician with a two faced response! Take away the $20 billion per year farming subsidy the USA hands out and see how long US farmers will remain productive.

  4. She also thinks we need to eat fukushima radiation food… Link in the image. What did we do to deserve to be poisoned? GMO and Radiation…


    DNA from GMOs can pass directly into humans, study confirms

    One of the 20th Century’s ‘Most Influential People,’ Former Presidential Candidate Speaks

    Out: “GMOs Have Not Yet Been Proven Safe”
    ‘Time Magazine Man of the Year’ Ralph Nader recently came out in support of the growing movement for organic, healthy, and non-GMO food,

    7 Ways Organic Farms Outperform Conventional Farms

    They lie!
    Myth #1: No One Has Ever Proven That GMOs are Harmful to People
    Myth #2: GMO Crops are the Only Way to Solve World Hunger
    Myth #3: GMOs Need Less Pesticide Spraying
    Myth #4: GMO Technology is Comparable to the Cross-Breeding That our Ancestors Did to Create Hardier Versions of Heritage Crops.
    Myth #5: The FDA and the USDA allow GMO’s, They Must Be Safe To Consume


    This is my biggest fear.. When they finally admit that gmos cause health problems and cause dire environmental damage, it may be too late..
    “David Suzuki is a geneticist. He’s one of the top scientists in Canada, his textbook is one of the most widely-used in the world, he’s published more than 30 books. So when David Suzuki speaks, I listen..
    Putting genes back in bottles.. How do you clean up a potential GMO mess? You don’t.
    The difference with GM food is that once the genie is out of the bottle, it will be difficult or impossible to stuff it back. If we stop using DDT and CFCs, nature may be able to undo most of the damage – even nuclear waste decays over time. But GM plants are living organisms. Once these new life forms have become established in our surroundings, they can replicate, change, and spread; there may be no turning back. Many ecologists are concerned about what this means to the balance of life on Earth that has evolved over millions of years through the natural reproduction of species.”

  5. It’s one thing to cross an apple with a pear and get a new fruit and a whole other thing to take a gene for a pesticide from a plant or animal “humans DON’T eat” and stick it in a plant that “humans DO eat”. If nothing else, we need to know what is GMO and what is not GMO so that we can all participate in a scientific experiment on humans and see what the difference is between those who eat manipulated toxic genes, and those who don’t. Granted no one is perfect and no one will be able to completely avoid the toxic GMO foods, it’s not a perfect scientific experiment, but studies are done all the time on huge populations using imperfect medical records and surveys (people lie). Humans are used as guinea pigs for new medications all the time too.
    If you think Americans are too stupid to read and understand GMO labels, I tell you what…..I will volunteer to be one of the intelligent humans who will read the labels and avoid GMO foods, and I’m sure we could find some more. And all the stupid ones can continue to eat GMO foods and we can see who spends more on health care.
    Ready? Up for the challenge? Let’s go. Label the food.

    • Agreed. I am a chemical engineer and am well acquainted with both the science and the machinations of the chemical industry. Remember that anything called a “-cide”, pesticide, rodenticide, insecticide, ad nauseam has as its primary purpose to kill something.

      The GMO wolf that lives in my house, aka Marty the greyhound, was in favor of GMOs until he read (yeh, greyhounds are smart) anonymous’ post that explained that it is one thing to cross natural genes, which even nature herself does, and quite another to use genes as transport mechanisms for getting to toxics into our food and thus into us and Marty.

  6. Let’s see your proof that they’re harmless Hillary! Talk is cheap and cause and effect are something that has long come along with our so-called advancements that were considered safe in their day like mining coal, refining oil, Dolly the sheep, radiation was going to be so safe and so-cheap we wouldn’t even need electric meters…guess what?

    • If you want the enviromental vote you will need to promote labeling of anything with GMO s .
      This is a big issue the best thing is to go back to healthier organic farming

      • I have been. In fact I’ve suggested that if they derail GMO labeling by using a QR code or requiring a phone call to find out then I say once we do we carry around cheap red stickers and we affix them to products as we find out. It’s not an expense to put a QR code on something or require a staffed phone but it’s too expensive to label them? Doesn’t even make sense. It’s a products death sentence, that’s why were having this discussion. Who would buy anything labeled as GMO? Except the problem is most everything has GMO’s as a base in the corn, wheat, feed…etc.

        • I buy GE foods whenever I can. Don’t need any labels because I am educated enough to know what foods are GE. If you want to avoid GE, eat organic or non-GMO certified.
          The expense in (meaningless, misleading, worthless) labeling is not the sticker. It’s the segregation from planting to harvest to transport to storage to shelf.

          • And you’re smart enough to make your own choices, right? Or is it really not about choice, and it’s about your activist anti-GE agenda? You’ve already admitted that it’s the latter.

          • I don’t want anyone forcing anything on anyone or myself that hasn’t been properly vetted. You want to play guinea pig have at it.

          • Over 1700 studies not enough? – an independent nonprofit. Whateva. You can always eat organic or non-GMO certified. No one is forcing you to eat anything. You have choices, unless you are incapacitated or under 7 years old. Eat whateva. Just stay away from what I choose to eat. Grow up and take responsibility for yourself.

          • I am taking responsibility for myself and others. Its not the effect you get from eating this crap today. It’s the long term that no one knows just like nuclear power was supposed to be the be all end all of power shortages and so cheap you couldn’t meter it. Wake up Wall St has been lying to gain profits since their inception and none of it has very good science behind it other than the money goes from their pockets to some legislators to insure they get to sell you their snake oil.

            I’m done if you don’t get it sorry for your luck.

          • Terrific! There’s a whole foods just licking its chops, waiting to suck the money right out of your wallet. A fool and his money…

          • “Properly vetted,” like organic foods created through mutagenesis, affecting thousands of genes randomly, no oversight, not testing? Hypocrite.
            You have made it abundantly clear that there will never be enough “vetting” to satisfy you. You are a perfect candidate to stay far, far away from GE foods, and concentrate only on eating organic and non-GMO certified. Established science seems to be way too hard for you.

          • Great! Then do enlighten us what you think has been “properly vetted” and is good enough for you to eat. If not organic, what? And what makes you think whatever it is that you put in your mouth has indeed been “properly vetted”?

          • All I want is a label that I can read on the product that tells me what’s in it. I will vet my own food.

          • Poor baby. Want, want, want. Well, you have your label now. Go whine about something else.
            And answer the question – what food DO you think has been “properly vetted”? Are you going to dodge that question yet again?

          • Poor city boy. You have no idea what you meant when you babbled about foods that are “properly vetted.” I have asked you numerous times, as you claim GE foods (the most highly tested and regulated food on the planet) are not “properly vetted,” but you continue to dodge that simple question, raised by yourself, and you cannot say which foods you think meet that standard.
            Poor city boy.

        • I prefer them. I’ll take your red labels as an endorsement if I could find them. A couple thousand labels placed by a few lunatics on a supply of 5 trillion items is absurd beyond words.

      • That’s nuts. How would labeling for a process get you anything, except more ignorant fuel for your anti-GE agenda? You up for labeling mutagenesis of organic food?
        Organic farming “healthier”? Prove it. Certainly not for the environment.

  7. Hillary Clinton won’t last long, especially in politics. The global revolt against U.S. economic and political hegemony is nearing. When the people rise up, she will be one of the first to be exchanged suspiciously, along with the dirty CEOs of multinational corporations. Nobody will stop us. Praise GPLA!

  8. Another reason she wont be getting my vote. She caters too much to the corporations, not the people. Why should there be drought resistent seeds in africa, even if they dont exist yet? If a piece of land isnt suitable for farming, dont farm on it. Why doesnt africa just import their food like america does? People managed to live in africa for centuries without gmo crops, so they can continue to do so, even without imports.

    • Oh, so you think we should live the way people in Africa do? And you really want Trump to be your president? You are shallow, ignorant, and pathetically politically unsavvy about the seriousness of this election. Let them eat cake, Jenna.
      And don’t bother to bring your superior know-it-all sanctimony over to any African country, with your “….they can continue to do so….” Your imperialistic attitude is below disgusting.

    • Why doesn’t Africa just import their food like America does, you need to remember one that Africa isn’t a country but a continent that is made up of many countries many with corrupt governments and the people living in abject poverty and people managed to live for not centuries without GMO crops but millennia, it’s America that has seen people manage to live for centuries without GMO crops, so they can continue to do so even without imports and if a piece of land isn’t suitable for farming don’t farm on it. I am not sure of the exact numbers but the population of Africa and the US, during the past few centuries has dramatically increased more mouths means more food consumption.I was born in 1960 and I can remember speculation as to how India was going to be able to feed it’s people in the future as the population was exploding, but while a large number of low paying call centre jobs were moved there, they also are pumping out highly educated highly skilled high technology workers in large numbers and China is doing the same thing and they are not outrageously expensive to hire, due to the lower cost of living and affordable education. Aren’t corporations considered people in the US. While I am not a Hillary fan, Donald Trump is scary and I don’t think he is presidential material and when giving a speech he said that Belgium is a beautiful city is proof, I have never seen anything close to the divide he has created in his own party

      • You seriously think that the individual countries in Africa should just “import their food”? Wow. Some view of history, geography, and politics you have. And a lot of opinions on how other people should live.

  9. I am frankly stunned.

    That’s on a level with noticing that natural gas is the most dangerous fossil fuel but that would be asking too much I reckon.

    Best, Terry

  10. Genetically modified is not using “seeds with a proven track record”. It is producing new and mutated clones of a real and true fruit /vegetable in order to produce larger, or more abundant, or faster growing, or taller, or etc -the results are not measured by the health benefits of these mutations but by their ability to increase profits. Hillary Clinton’s trademark for living. “Increase Profit” or personal gain. She is not for The People.

  11. The main problem with this post, and with her position, is that drought resistance is not a genetically engineered trait. It is a trait developed by traditional hybrid methods.

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