NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Good News For Biotechnology

March 15, 2000

Several recent events have lifted the spirits of supporters of genetically modified foods -- and furrowed the brows of environmentalist anti-biotech activists, says analyst Michael Fumento.

  • An international Biosafety Protocol unanimously approved in Montreal by delegates from 133 nations will provide a framework for international trading of biotech crops and a clearinghouse for hard scientific information so countries can make decisions based on facts, rather than hysterical assertions.
  • This event marks the first global affirmation of the potential and value of biotechnology.
  • The huge Archer-Daniel-Midlands agribusiness company has reversed its announcement last fall that it would require farmers to segregate conventional and biotech grain -- after discovering that less than 5 percent of its customers object to genetically-modified foods.
  • The Los Angeles Times, no biotech industry sycophant, came out editorially against anti-biotech proposals in California -- noting that biotech foods have been consumed for a decade with no adverse effect on public health.

A recent Roper Starch worldwide poll says the industry is probably overestimating public biotech concerns. The poll found that 73 percent of adult consumers surveyed would accept biotechnology as a trade-off for not using chemicals.

Source: Michael Fumento (Hudson Institute), "Biotech Food Fights May Be Over Soon as Facts Frustrate Fearmongers' Case," Investor's Business Daily, March 14, 2000.


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