Letter Supporting House Ag Biotech Education Funding

April 18, 2016

The Honorable Harold Rogers                                                 The Honorable Nita M. Lowey
U.S. House of Representatives                                                 U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, D.C.  20515                                                           Washington, D.C. 20515

The Honorable Robert B. Aderholt                                          The Honorable Sam Farr
U.S. House of Representatives                                                  U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20515                                                             Washington, D.C. 20515

Dear Representatives,

The undersigned organizations appreciate and support the inclusion of $3 million within the Fiscal Year 2017 Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act to better inform the public about the application of biotechnology to food and agricultural production.

Regrettably, there is a tremendous amount of misinformation about agricultural biotechnology in the public domain. Dedicated educational resources will ensure key federal agencies responsible for the safety of our nation’s food supply – the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) – are able to more easily convey to the public science- and fact-based information about food.

Agricultural innovation is important to all Americans because it enables plant and animal producers to increase production of healthful food using less land, while conserving soil, water, and on-farm energy. These benefits are passed on to consumers who reap the advantage of affordable food prices, greater access to nutritious food, an improved environment, a strengthened rural economy, and enhanced domestic and international food security.

Embracing modern agriculture is the right thing to do for our country, which has a rich history of nurturing science, research, and innovation in all areas of the economy, including farming. As President Obama stated in December 2011, “The world is shifting to an innovation economy and nobody does innovation better than America.” This presidential quote is displayed prominently in the National Bioeconomy Blueprint, which embraces and promotes the use of biotechnology as a significant driver of American economic growth.

The United States is strong and prosperous because American leaders embrace the responsible use of technology and set forth public policies to move the nation forward in this regard. Science education plays an important role in this forward momentum. That is why we support the inclusion of $3 million for FDA and USDA to help the public better understand science- and fact-based information about agricultural biotechnology.

We urge you to retain this provision throughout the legislative process and oppose any legislative action to restrict agricultural technology development, to hinder farmers’ access to modern agricultural tools, or to malign advancements in plant and animal agricultural applications that are helping society meet current and future food production challenges.


Agricultural Retailers Association

American Agri-Women

American Beverage Association

American Farm Bureau Federation

American Feed Industry Association

American Phytopathological Society

American Seed Trade Association

American Society of Agronomy

American Society of Plant Biologists

American Society of Sugar Beet Technologists

American Soybean Association

American Sugarbeet Growers Association

Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU)

Beet Sugar Development Foundation

Biotechnology Innovation Organization

Cooperative Extension Section of the APLU Board on Agriculture Assembly

Corn Refiners Association

Crop Science Society of America

CropLife America

Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association

Food Marketing Institute

Global Cold Chain Alliance

Global Harvest Initiative

Great Plains Canola Association

Grocery Manufacturers Association

Infant Nutrition Council of America

International Association of Refrigerated Warehouses

International Dairy Foods Association

Iowa State University

National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA)

National Association of Wheat Growers

National Barley Growers Association

National Confectioners Association

National Corn Growers Association

National Cotton Council

National Council of Farmer Cooperatives

National Grocers Association

National Milk Producers Federation

National Oilseed Processors Association

National Potato Council

National Renderers Assocation

National Seasoning Manufacturers Association

National Sorghum Producers

New York Agribusiness Association

New York Farm Bureau

New York State Vegetable Growers Association

North American Millers’ Association

North Carolina State University

North Dakota State University

Northeast Agribusiness and Feed Alliance (NY)

Pet Food Institute

Produce Marketing Association

SNAC International

Society of American Florists

Soil Science Society of America

South Dakota State University

Texas Tech University

U.S. Beet Sugar Association

U.S. Canola Association

U.S. Dry Bean Council

University of California, Davis

University of Delaware, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources

University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food, and Environment

University of Missouri

University of Wisconsin, Madison

Virginia Tech

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