Viewpoint: Historical opposition to tractors in farming mirrors modern campaign against GMO crops

| | January 17, 2020
Tractor ploughing
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

[T]ractors made farm work more efficient and lowered food prices, but they also drove many farmers out of business. Farms got bigger, and people who couldn’t make it had to find other ways to live. Additionally, industries that benefited from the use of horses in agriculture fought the progress being made by tractors for decades until even the Horse Association of America — formed to lobby against the use of tractors — had to capitulate.

Given the number of non-GMO labels and advertisements and outrage, it seems that we’re still in the thick of the “people are scared” stage of development.

[P]art of the consumer outrage over GMOs is that the (very few) approved GMOs have mostly agronomic benefits. Thanks to those tractor innovations …. there aren’t as many of us in farming anymore. Many people can’t imagine how much these innovations benefit those of us on the farm. Even if it eventually benefits them with lower food prices, those dots are harder to connect.

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[T]he tipping point eventually will come, though. Consumer-important traits, like non-browning Arctic Apples, eventually will show the benefits to everyone, and the outrage over GMOs will die down. The question is, how long will it take?

Read full, original article: Will GMO outrage fade like tractor outrage did?

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