Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack was on Capitol Hill Thursday, answering questions from the House Agriculture Committee about his decision to a seek of policy of “co-existence” with organic growers on regulating Roundup Ready alfalfa.
Vilsack told the committee that USDA continues to be strongly supportive of biotechnology—but also supports the growth of organic and non-genetically engineered ag products. But House Agriculture Committee chair Frank Lucas reiterated his concerns that USDA is moving away from a “science-based regulatory system for agriculture biotechnology.” Ranking member Collin Peterson expressed similar concerns
USDA is expected to announce next week whether it will allow unrestricted planting of biotech alfalfa or impose restrictions which could include geographic limits on the planting of the crop.
The following are excerpts from opening comments made by Lucas, Peterson and Vilsack.
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