American agriculture has an impressive track record of successfully addressing the economic and market-based issues associated with coexistence, whether neighbor-to-neighbor or through state seed certifying agencies or other local, state or regional intiatives.
Farmers successfully growing crops — whether biotech, conventional or organic — in close proximity is known as coexistence. Farmers have been successfully practicing coexistence for years, but recent court cases involving biotech alfalfa and sugar beets have made the issue of coexistence a new priority for USDA officials who want to ease tensions between conventional, biotech and organic growers. BIO believes farmers should have the choice to plant the crops that best meet their needs, whatever the practice: organic, conventional, or biotech. "Farmer choice" is the cornerstone of a successful coexistence policy and must be protected.
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