Food and Agriculture in 2 Minutes
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The US House Science, Space, and Technology Committee has launched an investigation into potential violations of anti-lobbying laws by National Institute of Environmental Health Services Director Linda Birnbaum. Birnbaum wrote and published an editorial that encouraged citizens to petition government officials to support certain chemical and pesticide policies over others. The Committee asserts that this is a violation of the Anti-Lobbying Act, and has requested related documents to begin their investigation.
Meanwhile, a British organic marketing association has outlined ten food safety risks posed by a future US – UK trade deal in a recent briefing paper. Alleged food dangers include food ingredients, packaging, chlorine-washed chicken, and other agriculture and food ingredients restricted by the EU. The Association asserts that any future US-UK trade deal must maintain current EU restrictions. U.S. producers worry agriculture exports to the U.K. valued at nearly $3 billion could be at risk.
In biotech news, Western FarmPress commentator Max Armstrong highlights Purdue President Mitch Daniels’ statement that opposing agricultural biotech is immoral. Daniels argues that GMOs have the potential to solve global problems like malnutrition and crop yields. He criticizes heavily financed anti-GMO campaigns that promote organic food with little evidence, since GMOs have been proven to be just as safe and nutritious. Noting that GMOs are also more affordable, Daniels contends such campaigns are simply harming poor people and are thus immoral.
Also challenging alleged false narratives, American Council on Science and Health’s Dr. Alex Berezow states allegations claiming bees are going extinct and would lead to starvation are a gross exaggeration. Berezow explains that the endangered species of bees contribute little to agriculture, and that commonly found bees that do most of the pollination aren’t threatened. Noting further that if, in some far-fetched scenario, all the bees vanished overnight, Berezow assures the public that the world wouldn’t starve as bees are responsible for only about 7% of our food supply.
Maya Menon, Washington.