Statement by Bob Stallman, President, American Farm Bureau Federation, Regarding International Commitment to Innovation, Biotechnology in Wheat
WASHINGTON, D.C., June 5, 2014 – “The American Farm Bureau Federation is proud to be among the 16 forward-looking organizations from the U.S., Canada and Australia united in ensuring wheat supplies remain abundant, while meeting the highest quality and nutrition standards. Representing about 20 percent of human calorie intake, wheat is an essential part of the global diet and critical to food security.
“Unfortunately, wheat production is on a downward trend around the world because net returns per acre often favor other crops. Wheat demand could very well outstrip the supply in the not-so-distant future. As such, further innovation in research and biotechnology is key to realizing the promise of improved products, more sustainable production and environmental benefits.
“AFBF supports the effort to synchronize the commercialization of biotech traits in wheat. While acknowledging the importance of commercializing biotech wheat to ensure farmers can meet worldwide demand, we are equally adamant that customer choice is paramount. Where there is demand for non-biotech wheat, we will work to see it is met.
“In addition, we are urging the governments of wheat growing and importing countries to maintain sound, science-based regulatory systems, as well as to adopt reasonable low-level presence policies to keep trade flowing. ”