Communication and community are at the heart of agriculture. We’re building on that tradition with technology by creating this online forum to facilitate an open dialogue about all things ag. Have a question about GMOs? Conserving resources? Technology in agriculture? Just ask.
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We appreciate the question. Scientifically, ‘toxic’ would refer to the dose of a substance necessary to produce an adverse effect. Sometimes, the term is used to create concern over something that could cause harm at a dose that people aren’t exposed to. In this context, 'toxic' can be a misleading term, as a person’s exposure to a substance has to be high enough for an adverse effect to actually occur. Vitamin D is a good example. We need it to live, but if we eat too much it interferes with the body’s ability to use calcium and can cause harm. Additionally, vitamin D is approved for use as a rat and mouse poison, however, few people would call vitamin D ‘toxic’ as they encounter it in their daily lives.
We think there isn’t just one solution when it comes to addressing big global challenges like sustainable food production. Instead, it’s going to take a lot of different tools and approaches, including organic farming. We provide a range of conventionally produced seeds that have not been improved through biotechnology for fruits and vegetables such as tomatoes, melons and bell peppers, and many of our customers who purchase those seeds are organic farmers.
Our planet faces unprecedented food security challenges. Some estimates project that we will have to grow twice as much food in the next 30 years as we do today to keep up with demand – all while using fewer resources. For example, it is estimated that by 2030, rice yields will have to rise by 30 percent—from the same area of arable land—to guarantee food security.
Coupled with climate variability and evolving pest and disease pressures, we know that maintaining the status quo in agriculture and the food value chain is not enough. We have the opportunity and the responsibility to grasp this moment, and to help move humanity forward by working together in a multi-stakeholder environment to shape a food system that is better for farmers, consumers and the planet.To learn more about our efforts to help ensure food security, click here.
Although agriculture is a contributor to climate change, the industry plays a role in curbing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions like carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrogen oxide that contribute to climate change.
To help ensure a more sustainable future, farmers are taking steps toward a carbon-zero future: using cutting-edge tools and farming practices to remove as much—if not more—greenhouse gases from the atmosphere than a farmer emits.
Climate change is a major challenge, but it’s also an opportunity for us to reimagine what we can accomplish through agriculture. In addition to developing new solutions to reduce agriculture’s impact on the environment, we’re also exploring how to shape agriculture to become part of the solution. As we work to accomplish both, we’re proud to empower farmers with the tools they need to grow their crops in spite of the many challenges they face as we all work toward addressing climate change. To learn more about our efforts to combat climate change, click here.
GM crops undergo more testing and oversight before commercialization than any other agriculture product, including conventional (non-GMO) crops. On top of the government safety approvals, GM crop data have been reviewed by third-party scientific experts who agree they’re safe, including the Food and Drug Administration, the World Health Organization and the American Medical Association in the U.S. Around the world, different countries have their own official agencies that review and approve GMOs.
We believe in genetic modification precisely because it has many environmental benefits! GM crops, in combination with other farming practices like no-till, can reduce soil erosion, capture greenhouse gasses, reduce the need for pesticides and minimize the use of fossil fuels to improve soil health and contribute to a more sustainable environment overall.
Great question! Before they are ever made available to farmers, government experts set strict limits on residues of crop protection products and subject them to continual monitoring to ensure they don't reach levels that could pose risk to the public. Given the sophisticated technology available, glyphosate has been detected in incredibly small amounts in some foods – at levels approximately 100 times below the safety thresholds set by the U.S. EPA and the EFSA. Based on the minuscule amounts in which glyphosate is sometimes found in food, a person would have to consume an incredible amount to get anywhere close to a potentially hazardous level. For example, you could eat 450 boxes of cereal every 24 hours for the rest of your life and still be at a level of glyphosate exposure considered safe by the EFSA.
Plant breeding today involves some of the world’s most sophisticated technologies and practices to develop the plants we need to nourish our growing world and preserve natural resources. An exciting innovation that has captured the imagination of the research community is gene editing, which allows scientists to make more targeted improvements within a plant’s DNA to produce a better crop.
These “edits” fine-tune a plant’s own genetic material and can result in better harvests more quickly and predictably than other plant breeding tools and practices. Academics, industry researchers, and policy-makers around the world are actively discussing how products enabled by gene editing will be evaluated and managed to ensure their safe and responsible use.