The European Union’s decision this week to accept six varieties of genetically modified corn will likely mean more export opportunities for Iowa farmers. Darrel McAlexander is a member of the Iowa Corn Promotion Board and a farmer from Sidney in southwest Iowa.
“It’s the right step for Europe to accept…not only our corn for our exports but also our distillers dried grains,” McAlexander said. “It’ll just be another place our crops will be able to be sold to enter a new marketplace.” McAlexander says he doesn’t think the decision will change much about how Iowa farmers grow corn. More than 80 percent of the state’s crop is already genetically modified.
“As a corngrower we need demand and if we have more demand for our corn or distillers grains or more demand for livestock, that’s always good news for a corn grower,” McAlexander said. Europeans historically have been more reluctant than Americans to accept G-M technology, over concerns the genetically-altered plants could pose risks to human health. Advocates say the technology helps farmers grow hardier, more nutritious crops