Viewpoint: If farmers want the public’s trust, they should change how they talk to consumers

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Image Credit: Ferry Building Marketplace

The president of Bayer CropScience Canada, Al Driver, had just finished talking about why his company decided to purchase Monsanto — and how that would affect farmers — when the question of public trust came up.

“It’s the No. 1 issue facing agriculture,” said a farmer attending the keynote at Farm Forum in Calgary. “We need to get through to consumers. We need to change their minds about agriculture.”

And it’s here that I’m going to berate my own industry …. Farmers are not going to get the positive attention of lawmakers with incessant messaging to those that don’t happen to farm that they need to change their attitude towards GMOs, glyphosate or neonics.

‘If we just show them the science, they’ll change their minds,’ is something I hear often. It bothers me.

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Science is great and I agree that we need to find ways to better expose the public to the monumental amount of research being conducted in the agriculture industry. But of those farmers calling for a science-based approach to policy and legislation, how many are also ignoring mainstream science on issues such as climate change, relying instead on “wingnuts” or disgraced pundits?

Related article:  Corporate support for anti-GMO advocacy groups is growing. Do companies know what their money is funding?

Consumers …. want assurance they’re being told the truth …. The agriculture industry should strive to be honest about its own positions and it should ask of itself what it’s asking of the public.

Read full, original article: The problem with public trust and traceability in farming

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