Will labeling GMO’s affect farmers?

Earlier this summer Jennifer Mo wrote an excellent guest post for Just Farmers sharing her thoughts on GMO labeling. I am excited that she has also invited me to offer my perspective on her blog thus got me thinking more about the topic of labeling foods that are derived from genetically engineered (GE) crops and the effects that proposition 37 in California will have on farmers like myself.

Please take a few minutes to read my thoughts in the excerpt below and click through to read through how I believe the initiative would effect farmers like me from across the country.

 

As a farmer who grows both GE corn and GE free corn, I often am asked how I feel about this labeling question.  I must admit while I lean towards no labeling, I also have mixed feelings as to whether or not this is the correct stance to take on the issue.  Rather than give my opinions, I want to share how this proposition would affect my farm.
 
There are several reasons why we plant genetically engineered crops on our farm.  In corn, we choose to plant a variety that was developed to resist insects naturally rather than having to use insecticides that are not as effective and can be very harmful to the handler (me) if a mistake is made when applying it.  Depending on the type of soil, history and current weather trends, we often decide that insects will not be a major issue in a field and plant a non GE variety allowing us to save money, if the trend holds true and we don’t have any issues with insects in that field.
 
A field of non GMO corn on our farm
A field of non GMO corn on our farm
 
Currently, when it is time to harvest, no measures are taken to completely segregate corn varieties that are GE as there is no premium to do so; we get paid the same price for both GE corn and non GE corn.  It’s hard to tell what would happen if Proposition 37 passed, but I am assuming that my mill would want me to find a way to separate my corn into batches of non GE as well as that that contains GE corn. In other words I would be expected to follow procedures of identity preservation (IP) of all the seed on my farm.
 
Sounds simple right?

Click here to finish reading

 

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