Colorado agriculture might soon be forced to turn back the clock on decades of progress — thanks to a Vermont law taking effect July 1 — unless the U.S. Senate steps in and acts.
Agriculture contributes $40 billion to our state’s economy every year, and in recent decades, farmers and ranchers have used an advancement called biotechnology, or genetically modified organisms, to help them achieve such levels of beneficial production.
Seeds developed through biotechnology offer a plethora of benefits, such as less irrigation, less pesticide use, reduced greenhouse gas emissions and higher crop yields that make food more affordable.
Unfortunately, as is common in the Internet age, small but committed activists spread misinformation about this technology, working to drive it from the marketplace, using mandatory labeling laws for foods made with GMOs.
In 2014, Colorado residents voted against such a proposal by a wide margin. Yet Vermont is set to implement a mandatory labeling law in July that would impact us here in the Centennial State.
We currently have a national food chain that allows products to move between states. National food-labeling standards enable this system to operate smoothly, keeping commerce flowing and food prices affordable.
Farmers and food companies are not set up to navigate a patchwork of differing state laws, and such changes would lead to price hikes at the grocery store.
Food companies are also concerned that on-pack labeling would mislead consumers, causing them to believe foods bearing a GMO label should be avoided even though there’s no scientific justification warranting that belief.
Want more? View the full article in our print or digital editions. Call 970-854-2811 to subscribe.
Holyoke Enterprise May 26, 2016