Steve Forbes condemns Luddites’ assaults on farming

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A highly supportive editorial for conventional agriculture in the U.S. including support for biotechnology was written by Steve Forbes, the chairman and editor-in-chief of Forbes Media and a former Republican primary candidate for president.

Forbes contends that American agriculture/agribusiness, as it operates today and needs to operate in the future, is “under assault in a way that will harm the ability of the world to feed itself.”

Forbes writes about the nation’s infrastructure for transporting ag products, ag exporting, biotechnology and labeling of bio-engineered foods. He contends that science-driven agriculture needs more applause, rather than criticism.

The editorial can be found as it appears on, a Hearst newspaper communications site of the Houston Chronicle, by clicking here.

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Steve Baker    
MO  |  December, 17, 2013 at 09:29 AM

People have to remember there is an entire industry built on attacking modern technology. It is led by dishonest people and the legal profession to reap millions in donations and lawsuits. Being anti- technology/anti-science is simply the progressive way to make money through corruption.

USA  |  December, 17, 2013 at 05:05 PM

American consumers have grown concerned over the cozy relationship between the biotechs and the FDA and that's why the market is showing growth in the organic markets. Consumers feel superficial 3 month rat studies provided by Monsanto and used by the FDA (lead by ex Monsanto executives) may not have been enough based on the farm reports who site increased animal sterility and intestinal inflammation in pigs fed GM feed. This past year Mr. Forbes magazine has published article after article bashing anyone who has a logical, cautionary approach to GMO's. But the tide is turning mainly because parents really resent the fact that these engineered foods are not labeled and every state that attempts a labeling initiative is fought back by millions from the major biotech companies. When it comes to safety, parents will pay more so they are running to organics. Message to Mr Forbes: Are you really a business magazine, or an extension of the GMO lobby?

December, 19, 2013 at 08:52 AM

"...running to organics"? Huh??? Last time I checked (and even with all the grants and giveaways we have poured into it since the 1980s) organic agriculture was something like 1 or 2% of agriculture, not even 10% of food market share. Been pretty static this past 4 or 5 years. Hey, McNamara, I've got a really sweet bridge to sell you -- all natural, sustainable, green, all those yuppie buzzword features and benefits. Perfect for the first world dreamer who has everything.

USA  |  December, 19, 2013 at 09:39 AM

@ Truther Reuters News Agency: According to the study, U.S. families are increasingly embracing organic products in a wide range of categories, with 81 percent now reporting they purchase organic at least sometimes. This finding is one of many contained in the Organic Trade Association's (OTA's) newly released 2013 U.S. Families' Organic Attitudes and Beliefs Study, conducted Jan. 18-24, 2013. "More and more parents choose organic foods primarily because of their desire to provide healthful options for their children," said Christine Bushway, OTA's CEO and Executive Director. "Not only are more consumers choosing organic products at least sometimes, but the majority of those buying organic foods are purchasing more items than a year earlier. New entrants to buying organic now represent 41 percent of all families - demonstrating interest in the benefits of organic food and farming is on the rise. " Consistent with findings from previous studies, nearly half (48 percent) of those who purchase organic foods said they do so because they are "healthier for me and my children." Additionally, parents' desire to avoid toxic and persistent pesticides and fertilizers (30 percent), antibiotics and growth hormones (29 percent), and genetically modified organisms (22 percent) ranked high among the reasons cited for buying organic products.

December, 19, 2013 at 09:56 AM

Yeah, of course we all also run to get our unbiased "news" from the Organic Trade Association. Go look at the ERS data for organic agriculture and see just how much of our industry is certified organic and what market share looks like. Sure, any slick used car salesman will tell me some anonymous study shows all my neighbors are running to purchase the same lame Edsel he's trying to sell me at the moment. He can rattle off a list of celebrities and world leaders, too. All simply in love with the goofy Edsel. Go soak your head McNamara to clear your mind then get right back to me about that bridge -- you know absolutely everyone is running to buy that sucker and I can only reserve it for you for a little while longer!

USA  |  December, 19, 2013 at 12:27 PM

Truther Take a look at these studies that came out in 2013 both showing dramatic increases in inflammation of the stomach and intestines, the first is a pig study, and most troubling is the second about American children showing an increase of 71% for cases of intestinal inflammation disease. Scientists say new study shows pig health hurt by GMO feed The largest investigation to date has found a “dramatic increase in the number of hospitalizations for children” with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) during the past decade in the United States. The new study, published online and scheduled for the August 2013 print issue of the Journal of Investigative Medicine, found a 65 percent increase in IBD hospital discharges from 2000 to 2009. The number increased from 11,928 discharges in 2000 to 19,568 discharges in 2009. IBD refers to a group of inflammatory conditions of the colon and small intestine. The major types of IBD are Crohn's disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC). When looking at these two types of IBD individually, the authors found a "59 percent increase" in CD discharges and a "71 percent increase UC" discharges. The study looked at more than 11 million hospitalization records of patients 20 years old and younger using a federal children's inpatient database. For the decade, they identified more than 61,000 pediatric discharges with an IBD diagnosis. If you think parents (consumers) are not concerned about theses reports you're very naive.

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