In other words, opposition to technology – technology that could “improve food availability, lower food costs, and enhance biomedical research, treatments and production – could result in a situation where the United States is exporting our researchers and importing our food. Increasingly, opponents to technology who work to block modern agricultural advancements are protecting us hungry. While farmers and ranchers can meet the needs of today’s consumers, meeting future food demands will be impossible without innovation and technology.
So what do we do? The speakers at the conference suggest part of the solution relies replacing the precautionary principle with a focus on key performance indicators related to continuous improvement and sustainability that are “outcome based, science driven, technology neutral, and transparent.” The white paper says then those indicators should be used to help build trust among consumers in the production practices utilized by farmers and ranchers. According to the white paper, the use of sustainability key performance indicators can aid in communicating with consumers, lawmakers and regulatory agencies about the benefits of technology and help keep government decisions on new food technologies based on science, rather than fear and emotion.
The full white paper is available to be viewed on the National Institute for Animal Agriculture’s website.