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Web and Facebook are bully pulpits for  GMO opponents

Web and Facebook are bully pulpits for GMO opponents

Facebooker bashes farmers as GMO puppets. Sheila cautions Mike to cool down before responding to the bogus claims.

Sheilah: "Hey, why are you staring at your computer that way? You’re glaring holes through the screen."

Mike: "I don’t even know why I get on Facebook. I shared a link on GMOs. Then someone else shared it. Now they're getting slammed over whether or not GMOs are safe.

"This guy, a chef in Pittsburgh, says if you want an honest opinion of food to ask a chef or a farmer. Then he just goes on and on about how GMOs destroying the environment and how farmers are playing God, and that the entire population is at the mercy of Monsanto and DOW. He says anyone who believes that GMOs are safe are just puppets for these companies."

FACEBOOK FOLLIES? Mike responds to chef using Facebook as a bully pulpit to rage against farmers and GMOs.

Sheilah: "Well, now I see why your face is red and there's steam coming out your ears. I know you're going to add your two cents. Just don’t let it upset you too much. You know you can’t really reason with people like that, especially on Facebook."

Mike: "I know I won’t change this guy's mind or probably even make him think a little different. But you know me. I can’t sit here and say nothing while he's bashing our friends and our business.

"One of our friends responded and explained why farmers want to grow GMOs. And this guy – the chef or whatever – told him that he wasn't a farmer because he works a full-time job. Then he went on to say that we're just growing that dang 'F' word – Frankenfood. I hate that word!"

Sheilah: "So this guy says to ask a farmer for their opinion. Then he just makes fun of them when he doesn’t like what a farmer has to say?"

Mike: "Yep, pretty much."

Sheilah: "Well, say what you think you need to say, but don’t get defensive. You know how easy it is to get that way when you're dealing with someone like that. Be factual and positive.

"Don’t get down to his level and name call. Remember what they taught you about GMOs at some of those meetings you've been at."

A little later . . .

Mike: "Well, I put my reply in. I told him how many everyday products made from GMO corn, soybeans and cotton – so many that it would be hard to list – all scientifically verified as safe as non-GMO ingredients. I also mentioned how “green” products are made from GMO corn, like those biodegradable packing peanuts that dissolve when they come in contact with water, the ones we demonstrated at the Farm Bureau Mobile Ag Lab at the fair last year."

Sheilah: "I’m glad you responded to all of this. It would have gotten to you if you didn’t. As farmers, we're passionate about what we do.

"We shouldn’t be afraid to tell our story and tell people why we do things the way we do. We may not change some minds or perspectives on GMO. But we can share our opinions and let our voices be heard as well."

The Reskovacs farm near Uniontown, Pa. Read all their "Two Hearts, One Harvest" columns in American Agriculturist. This opinion is not necessarily that of or the Penton Farm Progress Group.

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