Farmers Talk 'Monsanto Protection Act' - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Farmers Talk 'Monsanto Protection Act'

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Is your food safe to eat? It's a debate sparked by the new, so-called "Monsanto Protection Act" legislation. Advocacy groups say big companies like Monsanto need more regulation and less chemicals in food.    

But farmers are defending the act. 

Groups like 'Occupy Monsanto' have popped up all over the web, calling for more safeguards when it comes to our food. But farmers say these groups are putting out a lot of misinformation, and our food is safe:

"We're delivering a clean safe product," Farmer and Member of the Henry County Farm Bureau Rock Katschnig says.    

All over, sites like "Occupy Monsanto" are popping up all over the web, calling big companies like Monsanto 'evil' and accusing them of making food unsafe, saturated with chemicals.     

They also claim the new law would allow companies to put products on the market while still under court review. But local farmers say none of it is true.  

"All the ‘Monsanto Protection Act is going to do is hopefully slow up some of these nuisance lawsuits that are being used by anti-GMO people to delay the product from coming out on the market," Director of the Henry County Farm Bureau in Geneseo Township Jim Ufkin says. 

Farmers say using genetically modified crops, or GMO's, is completely safe. 

"The testing and the research has been done," Katschnig says, "The consumers can feel safe that what they buy in a grocery store is a safe product." 

"The American farmer eats the same food we produce, and we have vested interest in this," Ufkin says. 

They say with new technology, research can test new products all the way down to each gene. 

"GMO products have been tested and are very very safe; they're scientifically sound," Ufkin says. 

Making food safer. 

"In reality the genetically modified is used by the American farmer to reduce the chemicals," Ufkin says. 

"We don't over plant, we don't over spray, we use targeted label rates, exactly what the company calls for and we're very precise on what we use," Katschnig says. 

And also making it more nutritious.  

"It not only works for seed production and controls insects, there's some cases where you can add vitamins to the crop," Ufkin says. 

All to grow more food and help meet growing demands. 

"We supply a lot of food around the world and without this, there's no way we could continue to," Ufkin says. 

Farmers say if you're concerned about where your food comes from, your best bet is to buy local from the USA because of all the food protections in place here. 

They also recommend buying foods that are labeled 'certified organic' instead of just 'organic' or 'natural' for that same reason.