An open letter to Oprah
But I didn’t start this note with the intention of issuing a point-by-point rebuttal of a willfully ignorant article. I recognize that you don’t copy edit everything that goes into your magazine.
Instead, I mean to invite you to my farm.
If you come here, you’ll see why biotech crops make so much sense. Farmers are able to grow more food than ever before–more food on less land, compared to just a few years ago. This is good for the environment. Because GM plants have a built-in resistance to bugs and weeds, we’re using fewer chemical sprays. This is good for everyone.
As a result, our food is abundant, affordable, and nutritious. Yet even in the United States we continue to struggle with feeding everyone. More than 16 million American children suffer from food insecurity, according to the Department of Agriculture.
Given this harsh reality, does it make sense to demonize GM crops? In their absence, food would become less available and more expensive.
On my farm, you’d see these realities with your own eyes. Or you could visit the farms of several friends. In Hawaii, Ken Kamiya can show you how biotechnology saved the papaya industry from a deadly virus. In the Philippines, Rosalie Ellasus can describe how GM crops helped her put three sons through college after she was widowed. In Kenya, Gilbert Bor can discuss why he thinks biotechnology is so important to feed the people of Africa.
And if you don’t have time to visit with us, would you please send a memo to Rachel Mount? If she writes on GM food in the future, she should give us a call.
Tim Burrack raises corn, soybeans and pork on a North East Iowa family farm. He volunteers as a Board Member of Truth About Trade and Technology. www.truthabouttrade.org