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Letters from readers

By Staff | May 22, 2015

To the editor,

The state’s egg and poultry farmers want to thank Iowa Department of Agriculture Secretary Bill Northey, along with state and local elected leaders, for their continued advocacy for our industry. These are difficult times for our farms, and that support is critical as farmers work to prevent the spread of avian influenza in their flocks.

While Iowa has been hard-hit by this devastating disease, we are grateful that AI has not yet affected every farm in the state. Poultry producers have redoubled their biosecurity measures on and around their farms to protect their flocks.

We are asking all Iowans to do all they can to assist in this effort. We know one of the ways that this disease can be spread is by foot or vehicle traffic – movement which can carry the virus onto our farms and into our flocks. That is why poultry farmers are working closely with local law enforcement and county officials to limit movement on and around their farms.

We very much need and appreciate the community’s support in this effort – and respectfully ask those in communities located near egg and poultry farms to reduce or eliminate travel near those farms, whenever possible. Taking alternate routes that avoid the areas surrounding these farm locations can make a difference in keeping flocks protected from AI.

Although we recognize it may be inconvenient, it is critical that we join together in doing all we can at this time to keep our birds safe, so that we can maintain production of safe, wholesome eggs and poultry. Our continued thoughts and prayers go out to our colleagues in Iowa and across the nation who have been directly impacted by AI.

Thank you.

Randy Olson

Executive director,

Iowa Poultry Association

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Letters from readers

By Staff | May 22, 2015

To the editor,

The Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2015, co-sponsored by Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Kansas, and Rep. G. K. Butterfield, D-North Carolina, will supposedly solve the question of GMO labeling.

Instead of allowing states to set their own standards, the theory is one federal standard is preferable. The effort by organic enthusiasts and the environmental extremists whose express purpose is the elimination of GMOs, has finally achieved national recognition.

To be fair, the legislation is intended to provide one standard, instead of many set by individual states, but the road to hell is paved with good intentions when the federal government is involved.

The bill would require the label to identitfy presence of GMOs only if that product was found to be different or unsafe.

OK. Most would agree with that. The troubling aspect of this bill is that it would also establish criteria set by the government to obtain a GMO-free label.

What? A GMO-free label? This is what the anti-GMO crowd has always wanted.

The mystery is why does all of agriculture, including Monsanto, DuPont and Syngenta, jump on board? The reason for Big Ag’s acceptance is simple – money.

Present day GMOs are exempt which means, and I don’t understand why, continued use of today’s technology is permitted. This bill will ensure no future breakthroughs in technology eliminating the individual entrepreneur’s chance for a better mousetrap.

Farm Bureau supports this which isn’t surprising since it has ignored the grassroots and private property rights for years. Corn Growers has become a lackey for federal government subsidies and its hierarchy is divorced from the rank and file members as evidenced by its endorsement of liberal Bruce Braley over the conservative Joni Ernst.

The biggest surprise is the Iowa Soybean Association. Of all farmer-controlled organizations, ISA has provided the most useful information to farmers with the underlying commitment to sustainability and the conservation ethic of farmers independent of politics.

What changed? Do they really and truly think this is a solution to the problem?

The problem is not individual states setting their own standards, but once the federal government acknowledges this as a problem, GMOs are tainted.

Is everyone drinking the Kool-Aid?

What problem has ever been solved by the federal government?

Jerry Crew


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