Farmweek 07 09 2018 E Edition Page 1

BY DANIEL GRANT FarmWeek Ask a German farmer what he or she thinks about geneti- cally modified crops, and many say they would grow them on their farms for better production and cost savings benefits. But that option remains off limits due to government reg- ulations driven in part by con- sumer attitudes and subse- quent pressure from food retailers. The rules exist despite the fact that Germany now is home to the largest provider of genetically modified seeds in the world after Bayer AG, headquartered in Leverkusen, Germany, acquired Monsanto for $63 billion. That deal officially closed last month after U.S. and European regulators granted approval. Bayer retired the 117-year-old Monsanto name. "GMOs might help farm- ers, but we can still work with- out it if consumers pay higher (food) prices," Hans Leser, deputy director general for the Ag Ministry in Westphalia in northwest Germany, told par- ticipants of the Transatlantic Agricultural Dialogue hosted by the German American Chambers of Commerce. "A lot of it (anti-GMO sen- timent in Germany) is driven by consumers and nongovern- ment organizations," he noted. "And supermarkets, which are highly concentrated, have a large influence on policy by making their own rules." And the rules limiting Ger- man farmers' production options aren't necessarily based on science. "Most (German) farmers probably would say they'd like to grow GMO crops," said Corinna Jess, director of con- sulting services and trade mis- sions for the Chicago-based German American Chamber of Commerce of the Midwest. "But the fear of GMOs is so deeply engrained in con- sumers' psyches, it's not based on science." Periodicals: Time Valued Monday, July 9, 2018 Two sections Volume 46, No. 27 Teachers and ag literacy coor- dinators share lessons during the National AITC Conference. pages 8-9 Peoria County Farm Bureau member Rebecca Schotthofer designs a bicentennial ornament. page 10 Corn and soybeans continue to rapidly progress, while the end of wheat harvest appears in sight. pages 11-12 BARN-HIGH BY THE FOURTH? Corn leaves frame an Edgar County barn as if to debunk the saying, "knee-high by the Fourth of July." Many Illinois cornfields have reached the R1 growth stage. Silks begin to elongate after the V12 leaf stage. (Photo by Catrina Rawson) IFB submits comments on proposed labeling rule GM crop acceptance remains low in Germany See Germany , page 3 TRANSATLANTIC AGRICULTURAL DIALOGUE BY DEANA STROISCH FarmWeek Illinois Farm Bureau and other agricul- tural groups have expressed concerns about USDA's proposed mandatory national standard for labeling bioengi- neered food. In official comments to USDA, Adam Nielsen, IFB's director of national legisla- tion and policy development, described USDA's labeling approach as "responsible and consistent with our policy." But he noted some labeling options, if adopted, "may harm U.S. agriculture and dampen innovation by suggesting or implying that any refined food ingredient derived from a bioengineered crop contains genetic mate- rial. The science tells us otherwise." IFB also encouraged USDA to stick to the statute's report language that con- cludes "foods produced using biotechnol- ogy are safe and not materially different in any way from those made using other methods." "Giving a safe, beneficial and scien- tifically proven tech- nology a new start as bioengineered is far more appropri- ate than sticking with 'GM' or 'GMO' labels which have evolved into anti-biotechnology activist branding for any food or ingredients deemed by them to be unnatural, unhealthy, inedible or worse," Nielsen wrote. "Any labeling should be for market- ing purposes only, not for any health, safe- ty or nutrition concerns. Illinois Farm Bureau has no preference among the three symbols under consideration." USDA received more than 14,000 com- ments on its proposed labeling rule. In its 106-page proposal, USDA compiled lists of bioengineered foods that would be sub- ject to new labeling laws - including canola, field corn, cotton, soybeans and sugar beets. Foods containing derivatives of the crops would also be subject to dis- closure rules. IFB also signed onto a letter with more See Labeling , page 2

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