Vic Miller, chair of the Iowa Corn Promotion board, says biotechnology issues still complicate farm exports to foreign countries. He says environmentalists have scared people about biotechnology, but he sees it as something that can let ten years’ worth of research be done in a lab in a year. Miller returned last week from Singapore, where he met with trade representatives from ten Asian nations. He says Japan’s the number-one world buyer of Iowa corn, and exporters can’t disregard Asian markets. He says one big challenge was overcoming the public-relations damage from StarLink, bio-engineered corn that wasn’t supposed to show up in processed foods, but did.”As goes Japan, so goes the rest of Asia,” he says, and farmers went to show how to reduce StarLink contamination, and control other biotech crops. Miller says farming will be affected by the economic fallout from last week’s attacks on the World Trade Center.Agriculture uses credit and if people don’t invest it will hurt the lending market. He also says we could see dollar-and-a-half per bushel corn prices again. Miller says recent events prove again the need for ethanol development to reduce oil imports.He says we should use renewable resources to end dependence on foreign oil imports. Miller says he answered lots of questions and may have changed some attitudes about biotechnology, during his trip with the U-S Grains Council to Singapore. Miller’s a farmer near Oelwein.
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