Ernst stresses need for GMOs in Senate hearing

Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) shared her thoughts and sited a report from the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) during a hearing with the Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee held yesterday entitled “Agriculture Biotechnology: A Look at Federal Regulation and Stakeholder Perspectives.”

She believes, based on the report, that failure to embrace biotechnology could ultimately put the United States military and the country at risk.

Questioned by the senator were Mike Gregoire, associate administrator of the Animal and Plant Inspection Service (APHIS) at the Department of Agriculture; William Jordan, deputy director of the Office of Pesticide Programs at the Environmental Protection Agency; and Susan Mayne, director of the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition at the Food and Drug Administration.

“If we fail to embrace biotechnology as a safe, affordable and timely way to bring food production methods to developing and unstable nations, we are ultimately putting our military and our country at greater risk," Ernst said. "How can this administration and your agencies specifically work to help the public better understand biotechnology, so we can better address the national security challenges laid out by DNI?”

Ernst recently wrote a column for Waverly Newspapers about the contributions of Norman Borlaug, a 1970 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate; winner of the Presidential Medal of Freedom and Congressional Gold Medal; and a trailblazer in the development of global food sustainability. In the column, she said the fight to feed the globe has not been won yet, but Iowa farmers and the agricultural industry nationwide have been growing safe, nutritious, and affordable genetically modified organisms for decades.

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