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Support House Ag Biotech Education Funding

October 6, 2016

The Honorable Thad Cochran                                               The Honorable Barbara Mikulski
Chairman                                                                               Ranking Member
Committee on Appropriations                                               Committee on Appropriations
United States Senate                                                              United States Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510                                                       Washington, D.C. 20510

The Honorable Harold Rogers                                               The Honorable Nita M. Lowey
Chairman                                                                                Ranking Member
Committee on Appropriations                                                Committee on Appropriations
U.S. House of Representatives                                               U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20515                                                        Washington, D.C. 20515

Dear Chairmen Cochran and Rogers & Ranking Members Mikulski and Lowey,

The undersigned organizations support the inclusion of $3 million within the Fiscal Year 2017 Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act to better inform the public about the application of biotechnology to food and agricultural production.

Regrettably, there is a tremendous amount of misinformation about agricultural biotechnology in the public domain. Dedicated educational resources will ensure key federal agencies responsible for the safety of our nation’s food supply – the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) – are able to more easily convey to the public science- and fact-based information about food.

Agricultural innovation is important to all Americans because it enables plant and animal producers to increase production of healthful food using less land, while conserving soil, water, and on-farm energy. These benefits are passed on to consumers who reap the advantage of affordable food prices, greater access to nutritious food, an improved environment, a strengthened rural economy, and enhanced domestic and international food security.

Embracing modern agriculture is the right thing to do for our country, which has a rich history of nurturing science, research, and innovation in all areas of the economy, including farming. As President Obama stated in December 2011, “The world is shifting to an innovation economy and nobody does innovation better than America.” This presidential quote is displayed prominently in the National Bioeconomy Blueprint, which embraces and promotes the use of biotechnology as a significant driver of American economic growth.

The United States is strong and prosperous because American leaders embrace the responsible use of technology and set forth public policies to move the nation forward in this regard. Science education plays an important role in this forward momentum. That is why we support the inclusion of $3 million for FDA and USDA to help the public better understand science- and fact-based information about agricultural biotechnology.

We urge you to retain this provision throughout the legislative process and oppose any legislative action to restrict agricultural technology development, to hinder farmers’ access to modern agricultural tools, or to malign advancements in plant and animal agricultural applications that are helping society meet current and future food production challenges.



AACC International
Agricultural Retailers Association
American Agri-Women
American Farm Bureau Federation
American Feed Industry Association
American Phytopathological Society
American Seed Trade Association
American Society of Agronomy
American Society of Plant Biologists
American Society of Sugarbeet Technologists
American Soybean Association
American Sugarbeet Growers Association
Association of Public and Land-grant Universities
Beet Sugar Development Foundation
Biotechnology Innovation Organization
Corn Refiners Association
Cornell University
Crop Science Society of America
CropLife America
Donald Danforth Plant Science Center
FASS, Inc.
Global Cold Chain Alliance
Global Harvest Initiative
Grocery Manufacturers Association
International Dairy Foods Association
National Association for the Advancement of Animal Science
National Association of State Departments of Agriculture
National Association of Wheat Growers
National Barley Growers Association
National Confectioners Association
National Corn Growers Association
National Cotton Council
National Council of Farmer Cooperatives
National Grocers Association
National Milk Producers Federation
National Oilseed Processors Association
National Potato Council
National Renderers Association
National Seasoning Manufacturers Association
National Sorghum Producers
New York Farm Bureau
New York State Agribusiness Association
North Dakota State University
Northeast Agribusiness and Feed Alliance
Pet Food Institute
Produce Marketing Association
Soil Science Society of America
South Dakota State University
Texas Tech University
University of Georgia College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences
University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment
University of Missouri
U.S. Beet Sugar Association
U.S. Canola Association
U.S. Dry Bean Council
Virginia Tech

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2016 Support House Ag Biotech Education Funding
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