at MolecularFarming.com are pleased to link with the
American Farm Bureau Federation. Their policy on Agricultural
Biotechnology, which includes their stance on Molecular Farming and Transgenics,
is published below. We think it very considered
and well thought out, and would broadly agree with it. Environmentally
safe Molecular Farming, while needing careful monitoring and regulation,
must not be allowed to become a nightmare of needless paperwork and government
red tape. We also agree with the statement made by BIO,
which we have included below the Farm Bureau policy document.
We support increased efforts through biotechnology
to more rapidly develop consumer beneficial traits, to increase the marketability
of our products, to solve environmental concerns, to increase net farm
income by decreasing input costs and to improve product quality.
We urge state and national political leaders to develop a positive national
strategy for biotechnology research, development and consumer education.
Part of this strategy should include an open and frank dialogue with all
interested parties. We believe that our competitive advantage in world
markets will be maintained only by the continued support and encouragement
of technological advancements. We encourage USDA to take a lead in coordinating
efforts to evaluate and move approved products and technologies to the
marketplace in a timely manner. USDA should ensure appropriate protocol
for the approval of research and production of pharmaceutical or industrial
crops to protect the integrity of commercial grain markets. The approval
of new products should be based on safety and efficacy criteria.
US government agencies, particularly the USDA and the Food and Drug Administration
(FDA), should continue to serve their respective roles in providing unbiased,
scientifically-based evaluations concerning the human and animal safety
and wholesomeness, as well as the environmental impacts of biotechnology-enhanced
US government agencies should evaluate whether there are improvements
in the regulatory approval process that could be made to further enhance
consumer confidence. Consideration of socio-economic criteria should not
be required. We favor strong patent support to encourage these new technologies.
Patents should be broad enough to provide reasonable protection of development
costs, but should not be so broad as to grant one developer the right
to a whole class of future developments for common plants or growing processes
already in the public domain.
We recommend that Congress take the appropriate actions to ensure that
the USDA's Agriculture Research Service (ARS) plant-breeding programs
be permitted to utilize biotechnology, and other developing technologies
in their breeding programs. We oppose classifying plants derived through
biotechnology as pesticides.
We support patenting of animals to allow biotechnology companies to recover
the costs of research and development of transgenic animals for agriculture.
However, royalties from patents on transgenic animals must be structured
in a manner which allow producers a clear understanding of their obligations
and do not disrupt the existing livestock marketing systems.
We are opposed to any law or regulation requiring registration of farmers
who use or sell products approved for sale by the Food and Drug Administration.
We oppose individual states establishing separate policies on agricultural
We support active involvement by the United States in the development
of international standards for biotechnology. We oppose split registration
or limited use registration of seeds enhanced through biotechnology. Adequate
and universally accepted testing methods for biotech adventitious presence
in seed should be established. Seed that is approved for restricted use
or controlled distribution should be labeled and have visually distinguishing
characteristics. FDA should set acceptable standards for determining what
is non-biotech. Standards governing the identification or availability
of biotech products should be established uniformly across the United
In order to protect producers from liability, adequate testing methods
must be made available for all commercialized crops. Producers should
not be penalized for testing costs. The original buyer of commodity crops
should be responsible for testing of the commodity and upon taking delivery
such testing should be accepted by end users. Producers shouldn't bear
liability for off farm introduction of biotech matter. For new products
not destined for food or feed, FDA should set tolerances utilizing foreign
The international bodies established to administer the sanitary and phytosanitary
agreement of the World Trade Organization should retain the authority
to influence the regulation of international trade in agricultural products
enhanced through biotechnology.
We support seed tags on packages of agricultural seed stock that warrant
genetic purity of seed contained therein. We will also support legislation
which allows producers to recover all damages in those instances where
the seed does not conform to the genetic purity indicated on the seed
Adequate and accurate information on acceptable markets, and market and
planting restrictions must be provided in writing to producers prior to
the time they purchase the original input product.
We oppose the imposition by foreign countries of any import restrictions,
labeling or segregation requirements of any agricultural product enhanced
through biotechnology, once such commodity has been certified by the scientific
community as safe and not significantly different from other varieties
of that commodity.
We support the maintenance of U.S. export markets by securing foreign
regulatory acceptance of biotech products.
Manufacturers of agricultural products enhanced through biotechnology
should assume major responsibility for this acceptance, as well as making
farmers aware of markets where the products are not accepted.
We support increased efforts to educate the public worldwide regarding
the safety and benefits of products developed through biotechnology.
Agricultural products that are produced using approved biotechnology should
not be required to designate individual inputs or specific technologies
on the product label.
(1) The science-based labeling policies of FDA, including:
(a) no special labeling requirement unless a food is significantly different
from its traditional counterpart, or where a specific constituent is altered
(e.g., nutritionally or when affecting allergenicity); and
(b) voluntary labeling using statements that are truthful and not misleading;
(2) Voluntary labeling of identity-preserved agricultural and food products
that is based on a clear and factual certification process. We oppose
the practice of seed marketers imposing a surcharge on U.S. customers
that is not imposed on foreign customers.
© Farm Bureau Federation 2002
BIO [ Biotechnology Industry
Plants Intended Not to Be Used for Food or Feed
The Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) and its member companies
support strong regulatory oversight for all products of crop biotechnology.
FDA and USDA have recently issued for comment draft guidance for the production
of plant-made pharmaceuticals. BIO supports these efforts, and believes
that many of the recommendations made in the draft guidance should be
mandatory. BIO also takes the position that permits should be required
by USDA/APHIS for the movement, field testing and commercial planting
of all regulated articles that are intended not to be used for food or
feed, including pharmaceutical-producing plants and plants that produce
industrial products. BIO members will submit detailed confinement plans
and standard operating procedures with all of their permit applications.
We strongly encourage the agency to treat these plans and procedures as
permit conditions, subject to mandatory audit and inspection.
Detailed scientific and regulatory analyses confirm that these products
can be safely planted, grown and harvested in an agricultural region where
all of the appropriate production and confinement handling practices are
implemented. However, in their recently issued draft guidance, USDA and
FDA suggested that pharmaceutical-producing plants that out-cross should
only be grown in regions of the country where little or none of the plants
food/feed counterparts are grown. In response to this recommendation,
BIO members commit to grow regulated articles that are derived from outcrossing
food and feed crops, but which are intended not to be in food or feed,
only in areas of the country that are not centers of that crops
production (e.g. no corn-based regulated articles in the mid-west corn
and Answers Regarding BIO Policy for Geographic Restrictions for Pharmaceutical
and Industrial Plants
BIO's new policy on plant-made pharmaceuticals and industrial plants
excludes the planting of corn in the cornbelt. The cornbelt is defined
as America's heartland in a recent map
produced by the Economic Research Service of the U.S. Department of
© 2002 Biotechnology Industry Organization.
All Rights Reserved.