The Iowa Farm Bureau will get some federal money to help educate the Chinese about bio-tech crops. Farm Bureau President Craig Lang says the federal grant will help make Chinese consumers more comfortable with genetically-modified foods, an important first step for Iowa farmers who are growing more biotech corn and soybeans than ever and want to export them to China.
Lang says the best way to get consumer understanding and acceptance is to show them there’s a rigorous protocol growers and processors go through to ensure food’s safe. Lang thinks it’s worth the effort to “sell” the concept of biotech to a country that’s already such a big trading partner of the U.S.
Sixty-percent of U.S. corn is biotech, Lang says, and more than 90-percent of the soybeans. He says it’s important to make sure we’ll continue being able to sell those high-value biotech crops to world markets like China, India and Africa.
The Farm Bureau’s contracted with the U.S. Trade and Development Agency to hold a series of workshops in China. He says the workshops will be very intensive, bringing their top scientists together to explain “how we analyze biotechnology and what we do to protect that.” Lang says the Farm Bureau was selected because it has a previous relationship with the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture.