He quoted World Food Prize winner Norm Borlaug who said “Brazilian agriculture by the end of the decade will be more successful than it is in the United State.”
Beachy added, “I have great respect for our universities, but I have a concern about our regulatory agencies. Other nations, to determine the safety of a product, conduct a risk-benefit analysis.”
He suggested that a labeling on a genetically engineered seed could read: “This corn grown as a way to use less insecticide." But that type of labeling is not allowed, he added. He suggested that a newer model for approval of ag discoveries, particularly for genetically modified crops, is needed in this country.
He pointed to the U.S. consumer and media, both of which are conditioned to attack science and to spread the distrust of genetically engineered products and vaccines, for example. “The media are trained to listen to the science and then find someone who disagrees with it, whether that person has the facts or not. Mistrust is propagated by a well-intentioned media.”
In the realm of research funding, produces through their checkoff programs ought to provide more research dollars he added. “The biggest share of those dollars now goes to market development.”
The future holds promise in new markets and new value-added food, fuel and feed products that are derived from yet-to-be discovered processes. But the path is littered with challenges,” Beachy says, referring to regulatory agencies, funding, consumer acceptance and volatile weather due to climate change.