Biotech Law Needed to Grow New Biofuel Crops

Published November 1, 2006

According to an August 25 press statement of the California Farm Bureau, protecting farmers’ right to grow genetically improved crops is crucial to efforts to develop renewable, economical biofuels such as ethanol.

“California grows nearly 600,000 acres of biotech-improved crops,” the Farm Bureau noted. “This acreage will need to expand significantly to meet renewable energy goals as the majority of bioenergy crops have been produced using biotechnology or are now in the research phase to improve their energy efficiency for fuel production.

“If we cannot grow these superior renewable bioenergy crops, they will have to be imported from other parts of the country and world. Importing feedstock into California for biofuel production will only increase our fuel prices and defeat the effort to assure energy independence and stability.”

The Farm Bureau statement noted, “S.B. 1056 will insure that current and newly developed food, fiber, and agricultural products can be grown in California once they have been thoroughly researched and properly reviewed through the regulatory process. S.B. 1056 will insure that growers who produce organic, conventional, or biotechnology-based commodities can mutually co-exist in a supportive manner that allows each sector to grow safe and healthy products for consumers.”

James M. Taylor