Monday, May 28, 2012

Stallman Responds to Mother Jones
Washington--In a blog post this week, Tom Philpott, food and ag blogger for Mother Jones commented on meeting American Farm Bureau Federation President Bob Stallman recently.

“As I pulled down my name tag and made my way into the dining hall, I quickly spied the bearded, stout figure of Bob Stallman, president of the American Farm Bureau Federation, which calls itself the ‘voice of agriculture’ but is more accurately described as the ‘voice of industrial agriculture’,” wrote Philpott of his encounter with Stallman at a CropLife America dinner.

“He is a zealous evangelist of chemical-intensive farming, preaching the virtues of GMOs, biofuels, factory-scale animal farms and minimal regulation,” continued Philpott.

In the comment area of Philpott’s blog, Stallman responded that he regretted they were not seated together for dinner. “I think it important for all to be able to come to the table, so to speak, and have a civil and respectful discussion about subjects where there are differences of opinion,” wrote Stallman. “No doubt your belief system is different than my belief system, but I am sure we could have an interesting dialogue!”

“In my public speaking, I have emphasized that ALL forms...conventional, organic, local, biotech, etc....have a place in today's agriculture,” continued Stallman. “The one fact I do know is that farmers and ranchers will grow and raise food in whatever manner consumers desire and are willing to pay for!”

Stallman said “zealous evangelist” was a harsh description of himself and Farm Bureau and said farmers and ranchers are instead advocates for science and technology. “Farmers and ranchers continue to seek better ways to grow crops, care for their animals, sustain the environment and provide choices for American and foreign consumers,” wrote Stallman.

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