Ask a Farmer: Genetically Modified Crops

Ask a Farmer: Questions Moms Ask Arizona Farmers & Ranchers Question #3

Adam and Michelle Hatley with their two daughters.

Adam and Michelle Hatley with their two daughters.

From Arizona Mom, Debbie: Should I be worried about genetically modified crops?

Thanks for the opportunity to answer this question for you. And, I appreciate your concern! So you know from the beginning, I grow genetically modified cotton along with just about every Arizona cotton farmer and cotton farmers across the nation.

And, no, you need not be worried about modified crops. And, in anticipating the next question you might ask me if we were having a friendly visit out on my farm, I actually believe they are safe and here’s my list of why I believe this:

  1. Modified (I use the word biotech) crops are among the most extensively tested, regulated and monitored crops around.
  2. Every biotech crop is required by law to be thoroughly tested for human and animal health. These crops also have to go through environmental safety testing or assessments. What I also discovered is that these “assessments” must be based on well-established, internationally accepted, scientific standards and guidelines.
  3. While we have the USDA (U. S. Department of Agriculture), FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) and EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) that make our seed companies adhere to these standards and guidelines, the International science community also examines the health and environmental impacts to level a judgment.
  4. The conclusion from all these reviewing bodies: Biotech crops pose no more risk than crops produced through traditional crop breeding methods.

My wife and I have two girls. We believe in eating right and eating well. We don’t believe in feeding our children something that could harm them now or into their futures. We’re not concerned about biotech crops. Instead, we’re more concern about our girls eating too much sugar, processed foods and not enough fruits and vegetables. We believe if we stick to the fresh, healthy basics of lean meats, diary, fruits, vegetables and eggs that we’ll provide our family with the nutrition they need. A soda or candy bar every once and a while for a treat, yes, everyday, no.


Advice by Adam Hatley, cotton farmer from Mesa, Arizona growing cotton, wheat and alfalfa. He grows biotech cotton (genetically modified).

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