It is no secret to fans of We Love GMOs and Vaccines that I am not a fan of Trump. It goes beyond his lack of respect for the scientific method. It sickens me to my core that my children and students are going to grow up in a country run by someone who openly spreads fear about “the other kind”. I just finished teaching a unit on global citizenship, and now we have a president who threatens all the gains we have made in that realm.
But I agree with President Obama when he spoke of being on the same team. I want the United States to succeed under Trump, because otherwise would be a disaster for everyone I care about.
Like it or not, our best hope now is to work with Trump. Perhaps we can use some of his platform to our own advantage. But to do that we need to speak his language.
Donald Trump’s presidency has the potential of being the greatest threat the organic industry has faced since the invention of the GMO. Trump is an isolationist and the organic industry relies heavily on imports from the very countries Trump thinks stole our jobs.
According to the Organic Trade Association, NAFTA “has a powerful positive effect on organic exports (to Canada and Mexico)” and “has a strong positive impact on U.S. organic imports”. This might be the reason Gary Hirshberg, of Stonyfield Organic, raised $600,000 for the Clinton campaign. He knows what might be coming.
I am a strong supporter of free trade, but I also admit that some people will feel the hurt from it as jobs move and get created. Farmers themselves are going to vary on its benefits depending on what they grow. The sugar industry does everything it can to prevent cheaper sugar coming in from overseas, while China is spending more than $24 billion a year on US crops. But there is no doubt that ending trade agreements will have a detrimental impact on Whole Foods shoppers.
Trump, appealing to the blue collar worker, worked hard to shed any image of him being an elitist. Perhaps it is time to cut funding to the organic branch of the USDA and start putting tariffs on those organic bananas destined for homes of those that can afford to pay more for their food anyways.
Biotechnology stocks soared this week on the news of a Trump victory. One of the factors leading to GMOs getting such an early start in the United States was development under the Reagan and H. W. Bush years of deregulation. Crops developed with biotechnology do not pose any risk that don’t also apply to “conventionally” bred crops, so perhaps the time has come to deregulate them.
Deregulation would have a huge benefit to farmers, consumers, and small businesses. Farmers pay extra for the seeds so the companies that developed them can recoup their costs. Small businesses could finally afford to bring new GMOs to market with consumer friendly traits. Frankly, a lot of the anti-GMO rhetoric about patents and lawsuits would fall on deaf ears if companies didn’t have to make money back on regulatory costs.
I would trade all of the possible benefits Trump can off as president. There is going to be a net loss to the world over the next four years. But he is going to be my president, and it is the job of the president to serve the people of the United States. Let’s do our best to reach out to a Republican led government and make them work for us.
Liberals out number conservatives, they need our votes in the local elections in two years.