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Don't let politics and fear-mongering supersede science

January 5, 2011
The Wall Street Journal printed a letter-to-the-editor from Mary Boote, Executive Director for Truth About Trade and Technology.  Mary’s letter ran in conjunction with one by U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack regarding genetically engineered alfalfa and the issue of coexistence: 
The new rules for biotech alfalfa that Mr. Vilsack is considering, if enacted, would lead to a significant and costly reversal of previous policies. They would limit economic freedom and stifle scientific innovation, setting a precedent that allows politics and fear-mongering to supersede science.

Technological advancements have helped farmers of other crops produce bounties unimaginable just a generation ago in environmentally sustainable ways.

The USDA's regulatory system is the blueprint for systems being implemented around the world. It serves as a blueprint because it is science-based, credible and works. Allowing non-science criteria, litigation and politics to be part of the regulatory approval process will be disastrous for the USDA's reputation—and the quality of its work.