Biotech, Food Prices Dominate Farm-Related Consumer News
People care a lot about their food, which could give U.S. soybean farmers opportunities to dispel consumer myths and educate them on the facts behind today’s farming. To help keep farmers aware of the hot topics, here are some farming-related articles and TV programs released recently in the mainstream news.
Television shows tackle biotech
“Anderson Cooper Live” brings mom to the farm
The U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance partnered with CNN television host Anderson Cooper to answer consumer questions about biotechnology. “Anderson Live” aired a segment featuring Christine, a mother from Long Island, N.Y., touring a 6,000-acre soybean farm in Illinois. Farm owners Mike and Lynn Martz answered Christine’s questions about organic food and conventional farming practices. After her trip, Christine said she felt more knowledgeable about and comfortable eating non-organic food.
Dr. Oz Show biotech segment draws criticism
A recent episode of “The Dr. Oz Show,” a daytime health-advice program, discussed biotechnology in preparation for California’s Proposition 37, which would require labeling on foods that contain biotech ingredients. While California voters rejected the proposal in a Nov. 6 vote, Dr. Oz sought to inform the public about the issue in the run-up to the balloting. However, the show drew criticism for ignoring applicable scientific and medical background and including only one scientist knowledgeable about plant genetics.
Drought causes speculation of food-price hike
Speculation about the drought’s effect on food prices has permeated the news cycle, leaving many consumers anticipating bigger bills at the grocery store. The U.S. Department of Agriculture, however, expects 2012 food-price inflation to fall between 3 percent and 4 percent. The 2012 forecast is below the food price increases that occurred in 2004, 2007, 2008 and 2011 and only slightly higher than the annual average food price inflation of 2.5-3 percent that has occurred for the past 20 years.