Position Statements on Biotechnology

American Midwest Farmers

Farmers in the American Midwest have suffered their worst drought in decades this year. Agricultural productivity will be substantially reduced and water reservoirs severely depleted.

Yet the position could have been much more serious had it not been for the uptake of herbicide-resistant biotech crops, which have allowed the increased adoption of no-till farming. No-till allows a farmer to plant a new crop directly into the soil through the residue of the previously harvested crop, breaking down that plant residue and helping to increase soil organic matter.

Traditionally growers would have cleared their previous crop and deep plowed, in part to hinder the re-growth of weeds which would otherwise smother the young crop plants. Deep plowing leads to open fields exposed to wind and erosion. No-till not only minimizes erosion, but also maintains the natural moisture in the soil so crops get a good start with less need for watering.

The widespread adoption of no-till, particularly among soy growers, has been facilitated through the use of herbicide-resistant soybeans. This year's US soybean harvest is expected to be more than 75% biotech, with herbicide-resistant varieties planted on 90% of soybean farms - a clear indication that farmers have adopted a technology that works well in their individual operations.

US farmers are well aware of the debate in the European Union over the adoption of agricultural biotechnology. They are well aware of the many issues and controversies surrounding the debate. They are well aware of the myths and misinformation which have been put forward by opponents of agricultural biotechnology, fueling much of the discussion and often leading to a misunderstanding of the use of the technology and the advantages it can bring.

This report sets out to set the record straight. It aims to address many of the issues and correct the myths - the 'factoids' - about agricultural biotechnology, using the knowledge of our own experience as farmers as well as the numerous scientific and economic studies published in this area. We hope it will be useful for everyone interested in knowing the facts.


International Support:

  1. International Organizations
  2. Africa
  3. Asia
  4. Europe
  5. North America
  6. Latin America
  7. Oceania

International Organizations

- Food and Agricultural Organization
- Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development
- World Health Organization
- United Nations Development Programme
- United Nations Environment Programme
- Third World Academy of Sciences

- Agenda 21
- Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation
- Vatican Pontifical Academy on Life

- International Council for Science Union

- International Life Sciences Institute


- International Society of African Scientists
- United Nations Economic Commission for Africa
- Africabio
- South African Minister Ngubane's statement at WSSD
- National Biotechnology Strategy for South Africa
- Former Kenyan President Moi's letter to US President Clinton

- Nigerian President Obasanjo's Statement


- Asian Development Bank
- Chinese Academy of Sciences
- Indian National Academy of Sciences
- National Academy of Science and Technology (Philippines)
- Former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir's Speech at BioMalaysia 2002
- Policy Statement on Biotechnology (Philippines)


- Royal Society of London

- Prime Minister Blair's speech

- European Commission

- French Academy of Science

North America


United States of America

- American Medical Association
- American Society for Microbiology
- National Academy of Sciences
- National Research Council
- American Society of Plant Biologists
- Federation of Animal Science Societies
- American Midwest Farmers

  • American Agri-Women
  • American Soybean Association
  • National Chicken Council
  • National Corn Growers Association
  • National Cotton Council
  • National Milk Producers Federation
  • National Potato Council
  • National Turkey Federation
  • United Soybean Board


- Canadian Biotechnology Advisory Committee
- The Royal Society of Canada (The Canadian Academy of the Sciences and Humanities)
- Industry Canada (Federal Department of Industry)
- The 1998 Canadian Biotechnology Strategy: A Ongoing Renewal Process

Latin America

- Brazilian Academy of Sciences
- Mexican Academy of Sciences


- New Zealand Royal Commission

- Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization
- Australia New Zealand Food Authority
- Australian Biotechnology: A National Strategy (2000)

- National Farmers' Federation

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