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Farm Bureau Supports New GMO Program

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The Farm Bureau announced support for a new program to promote the use of genetically modified organisms or GMOs.

The Right to Grow GMO Program is designed to make sure American farmers have access to this new technology.

In Montana, some farmers say GMOs create more problems than they solve.

John Youngberg with the Montana Farm Bureau said the program gives farmers the opportunity to provide GMO products when the market becomes available for them.

"In no way are we discouraging people from raising tradition crops. We're trying to allow people who wish to use modern technology have that ability also," said Youngberg. "It gives us an opportunity to create products that are safe with less chemicals, less pesticides and less fertilizer."

Youngberg said we still need to provide food, even when less and less land is available.

"We're going to have to produce more on less land and there's not a lot of ways to do that expect more breeder better crops," said Youngberg. "We need to have crops that can survive drought and different diseases."

But, organic farmers like Doug Crabtree do not support this new technology. He said it's a technology that only benefits those who sell it.

"GMO is not anything to help farmers and it certainly hasn't done anything to help farmers in Montana," said Crabtree. "The only thing they have done so far is allow the use of additional pesticides to be directly in the plant itself."

He said GMOs have the potential of contaminating organically grown crops.

"There is no way to control that spread," said Crabtree. "If this stuff starts to be grown and transported around, it's going to spread and contaminate neighbors."

Youngberg said currently crops like corn and soy beans are grown from GMOs, while wheat is not.
 

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