Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack was getting lots of appreciative applause and head nods from the packed hall at the Community Food Security Coalition conference today, held in Des Moines, Iowa. He described the USDA’s plans to improve school nutrition, support local food systems, and work with the Justice Department to review the impact of corporate agribusiness on small farmers. But then, with time for only one more question, I was handed the microphone.
“Mr. Secretary, may I ask a tough question on GMOs? …are you willing to take a delegation in D.C. to give you this hard evidence about how GMOs have actually failed us, that they’ve been put onto the market long before the science is ready, and it’s time to put it back into the laboratory until they’ve done their homework.”
After a slight pause, he added in a warm tone, “I will tell you that the world is very concerned about the ever-increasing population of the globe and the capacity to be able to feed all of those people.”
[but] GMOs [are] not one of those needed methods! It was clear to the experts [in the audience] that the current generation of GMOs do not live up to the hype continuously broadcast by biotech companies and their promotional East Coast wing–the federal government.