The vast majority of the corn and soybeans grown in the United States are genetically modified to fight pests and weeds. Treating these crops as “contaminants” is part of an ideological struggle to prevent farmers from using 21st-century technology. The U.S. Department of Agriculture should speak out, defend the farmers who produce safe food, and refuse to let the professional protestors define the terms of debate.

Words matter. If we accept this loaded terminology, we’ll set up an unfair presumption against biotechnology, making it seem as though farmers who grow well established and safe crops are causing environmental harm.

Organic farmers should enjoy the freedom to grow crops as they please. So should other farmers, including those of us–and there are millions around the world–who think using biotechnology is one of the best ways to feed a growing world.

John Reifsteck is a corn and soybean producer in western Champaign County Illinois.  He serves as a Board Member of Truth About Trade & Technology (www.truthabouttrade.org)