Twenty years ago, the first genetically modified seeds hit the market. Long before most people became concerned about GMOs in their food, farmers were facing urgent questions about this new technology.
Farmers wanted unbiased information about GMOs, so they organized and led the Farmer to Farmer Campaign on Genetic Engineering (funded, in part, by Farm Aid). Farmer to Farmer focused on the risks of GMOs in agriculture and provided a national forum for farmer action on agricultural biotechnology issues.
Since then, ethical, political, legal, environmental, economic and social implications for GMO technology have intensified, while consolidation and corporate concentration in the seed sector have increased. These developments impact farmers and eaters alike, affecting our food system from field to fork. As public dialogue about GMOs reaches a fever pitch and corporate domination of the sector increases, Farm Aid remains committed to advancing the rights of farmers and eaters.
- Believes farmers should be able to grow their crops without fear of GMO contamination and that biotech companies should be held accountable for GMO contamination;
- Affirms the right of family farmers to fair, open and affordable access to seeds and the right to save seeds;
- Advocates for antitrust enforcement in the highly concentrated private seed sector;
- Pushes for stronger independent review and oversight of GMO crops, seafood, and livestock prior to their approval and following their release into the environment and marketplace;
- Emphasizes the importance of biodiversity and genetic diversity and supports increased funding for public plant and animal breeding to develop locally and regionally adapted seed and breed varieties;
- Supports alternative supply chains that help farmers meet growing demand for non-GMO products and avoids GMOs in our sourcing.
- Calls for transparency in our food system through mandatory GMO labeling, so eaters can make informed decisions about the food they eat and build demand for non-GMO food.