Special Feature newsletter article, April 2000
asked questions regarding the production of transgenic crops
The transgenic crop, also known as
genetically modified organism (GMO), debate has created many new issues for
production agriculture. Most are not unique to transgenic crops, they are
just the beginning of differentiated markets based on a wide range of new
Grain Quality Initiative has assembled this question/answer checklist to help
you with planting decisions. Look for more updates and information throughout
the 2000 season.
by Neil Harl, 515-294-6354,
has told me informally that the intention is to plant non-GMO corn hybrids
all the way along our onehalf mile boundary. At the moment, I am planning
on planting GMO hybrids along at least half the boundary. Should I be concerned
about pollen drift?
there has not been a case of pollen drift involving GMO corn litigated to
a court of record. However, situations that are comparable in some respects
have been litigated, with the creator of the offensive condition held liable.
That has been the outcome with cases based on-(1) nuisance claims involving
smoke, fumes, odors, noise, and danger; (2) trespass claims where fumes from
a leaking tank drifted across a road and killed a vegetable crop; (3) herbicide
drift. It is not clear what theory will emerge and how successful it will
be in pollen drift cases.
is to discuss the situation with the neighbor and try to work out a buffer
I be liable if I sell GMO corn to the elevator knowing that the grain is headed
for export to the European Union even though I made no specific representations
about the crop?
warranty of fitness is imposed on sellers who are considered to be merchants
if the seller knows the purpose for which the crop is to be used and the buyer
is relying on the seller's skill in judgment to provide suitable goods. The
warranty or promise is that the commodity will be suitable for the purpose
for which it is intended. Farmers in nearly half of the states are considered
to be merchants with the trend in that direction.
of fitness can be disclaimed by conspicuous statements in writing.
has asked me to sign a form stating that the corn 1 am selling has not been
genetically modified. Should I sign the form?
of genetically modified germplasm are not unusual in non-GMO loads of grain.
The seed, even though represented to be non-GMO, may have contained low levels
of GMO germplasm and contamination could have occurred in planting, harvesting,
transporting, and storing the crop. It is generally unwise to state that a
crop has not been genetically modified unless you are confident you can back
up such a statement.
a small country elevator with one set of facilities (drop pit, augers) but
with three sizable storage structures. This fall, I plan to sample each load
and test the samples within a few hours of purchase. Is this adequate protection?
is that, unless the test can be completed before the load is dumped, you may
discover that grain dumped in a non-GMO structure actually contained unacceptably
high levels of genetic modification. Thus, you may have contaminated a bin
of non-GMO grain.
is not possible before grain is unloaded, you may wish to consider using the
Uniform Certification Procedure discussed at www.iowagrain.org.
assures me that there will be no problem in accepting approved varieties of
every GMO crop this fall at harvest. Should I be concerned?
is whether competitive opportunities for sale without a discount will be available
when the crop is sold, presumably some time during the marketing year. If
possible, it would be well to obtain a commitment in writing that the crop
will be purchased without discount any time during the marketing year.
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