The USDA, the FDA, the CDC, and the United Nations’ Food and Agricultural Organization have all concluded that genetically modified organism technology is safe, and agricultural producers maintain that this technology is an absolutely necessary tool for them to be able to feed a growing world population, yet there is organized opposition to its use. Donnie Dippel is president of the Texas Ag Industries Association that represents companies and individuals involved in providing inputs to production agriculture in Texas.
“The new technologies that are out there, we’ve gone through a lot of different stages through our life. We’ve gone through starting the use of fertilizer, then starting the use of herbicides, and then hybrids came along, and now we’re at GMOs, and all these things have advanced our production.”
Dippel says farmers are producing food and fiber at commodity prices that have not kept up with input prices.
“The only way the farmer has been surviving is being able to produce more, and it’s through all this technology that has allowed him to do this. And there’s people out there that say organics is the way, and there’s a market for that.”
But Dippel says that there’s no way to feed the world using organic farming methods exclusively.
“Less than two percent of the people out there are actually producing our food. There’s such a disconnect. There’s people that don’t even have a live plant in there house, and they want to try and tell us how to produce our food.”
Dippel stresses that this new technology is actually environmentally friendly.
“Back when I was at TDA I know we had a lot of groups come in and talk to us about the use of pesticides. They didn’t want to use pesticides. Well we come up with GMOs, and now they’re fighting GMOs and it’s the elimination of a lot of use of pesticides. They’ve been able to decrease the amount of water needed to produce a crop. All these things are so positive, but yet we do have people that are fighting it.”
Dippel says he can’t understand groups that oppose conventional agriculture.
“Is it just a group that’s against everything or is it a group that is funded to be against everything? My goal is to feed the world in a safe way and we’re going down the right road right now.”