Policy Papter

C & C: Bioethics
February 26, 2008
Policy Paper
Genetically engineered crops have been being used by farmers for over ten years. In 1996 genetically engineered crops became available to the public. Since their introduction to the public, genetically engineered crops have really escalated. In 2005, eighty-seven percent of the soybeans being farmed were genetically engineered herbicide tolerant crops. With the adoption of herbicide tolerant and Bacillus thuringiensis crops in 2006 there were major increases in crop yields. Herbicide tolerant acreage increases led to a one point seven percent increase in yields, and Bacillus thuringiensis crop acreage increases led to a two point one percent increase in yield. This is a lot of headway in a short amount of time for companies engineering these crops.
The problem with all these new modified crops is the companies have also found ways to make the crops unable to reproduce year after year. Farmers normally save some seed from a harvest to subside some of the cost of having to buy seed year after year to plant. Making these genetically modified crops sterile makes it impossible for the farmers to do this. This is completely unfair to these farmers that already buy the already higher priced genetically modified seed.
As a United States Senator from a small farming community I would like to propose a policy that will not only benefit these farmers, but also the companies producing the genetically modified seed. It includes saving these farmers money, penalizing the companies that are hurting the farmers, helping the companies that help farmers, and giving the companies incentive to continue researching.
I. The sale of genetically modified crops that have an inability to reproduce will be strictly prohibited. All crops genetically modified must have the capability to reproduce yearly.
II. To compensate for company losses through this new policy, these companies will receive a new research grant for 5% of their annual costs to produce these crops, given they follow this policy. This money will then be used to do more research to improve genetically modified crops.
III. Companies found to be selling crops with the inability to reproduce will be penalized. The penalty will be a fee of 5% of the company’s annual earnings on the first occurrence. The fee will then double every time the company is found to have sold this seed after the first time. The second occurrence will be a 10% fee. The third a 20% fee and so on. The money from the fees will then go to help companies obeying this policy and to help farmers in need.
IV. Farmers will have the option to report companies selling this seed. There will also be surveyors and tests to be certain companies are obeying policies.

Works Cited
Heimlich, Ralph E. (August 2000). Genetically Engineered Crops: Has Adoption Reduced Pesticide Use. Agricultural Outlook, Retrieved February 20, 2008, from http://www.ers.usda.gov/publications/agoutlook/aug2000/ao273f.pdf
Fernandez-Cornejo, Jorge (April 2006). The First Decade of Genetically Engineered Crops in the United States. Retrieved February 25, 2008, from United States Department of Agriculture Web site: http://www.ers.usda.gov/publications/EIB11/
Blackshear, Jason, Johnson, Phillip, & Gum, Heidi (2002). Profitability and Cost of Production of Roundup Ready Versus Conventional Cotton Varieties in the Southern High Plains of Texas. Beltwood Cotton Conferences.
United States Department of Agriculture. (2006). APHIS Biotechnology" Permitting Progress Into Tomorrow [Brochure]. Riverdale, MD:
Knight, Danielle New See Technology Threatens Farmers. (March 31, 1988). Interpress Third World News Agency,
Rader, Charles M. (June 2001). A Report on Genetically Engineered Crops. Retrieved February 21, 2008, Web site: http://members.tripod.com/c_rader0/gemod.htm

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