(Posted Mon. Apr 14th, 2014)

By National Corn Growers Association President Martin Barbre

It is easy to argue against something, playing upon common fears and perpetuating misconceptions. Time and time again, arguments based in far-fetched possibilities slow our progress toward a future based in science and progress. The most contrarian amongst us holds back society like a brutish bully pushing down anyone who dare point out his fallacies or flaws.

In the world of agriculture, anti-GMO activists have become the bully that suppresses any party who dare stand up to their cult of the contrary. With no proof for their position, they simply argue against science and progress using circular logic. They beat down objections because they cannot win the debate.

Their tactics have become predictable. In the open arena of social media, they wallop products like Cheerios, companies like General Mills and now politicians like Rep. Mike Pompeo for having the audacity to speak in defense of biotechnology. Issuing public taunts and hurling baseless insults, these agenda-driven activists paint anyone or anything who wants to base policy or practice in science and progress as somehow subversive.

They ostracize and pushdown anyone who refuses to accept their authority, baseless or not, as the dictator of dietary dogma.

Much like a mean girl in high school, these anti-GMO activists launched a social smear campaign on Rep. Pompeo’s Facebook page. Ganging up on an official elected to represent his fellow Kansans, the angry mob pummeled Pompeo with a barrage of insults under a post asking for summer interns. Calling him names like “corrupt pig,” they used every verbal weapon, from exaggeration to outright obscenity, to try and intimidate Rep. Pompeo.

It was an organized attack meant to squelch thoughtfully written legislation meant to keep important decisions about food safety in the hands of trusted scientists at the FDA and out of the very clenched fists that typed the assault.

What they didn’t realize is that men and women of principle and conviction can still stand up to bullies. Rep. Pompeo did so on April 9 in announcing the introduction of The Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act. In putting forth this legislation, he bravely stood his ground in defense of a science-based regulatory system that values the safety and welfare of America’s families, not acrimonious activists.

It can be tough to speak up when a loud, angry bully continually tries to torment you into submission. Yet, when we stand together, we find strength in the realization that many others are on our side.

Stand with Rep. Pompeo. Reps. G.K. Butterfield, Marsha Blackburn, Jim Matheson and Ed Whitfield did by cosigning this significant, bipartisan legislation. Add your name to theirs by urging Congress to complete action on The Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act.

Our Representatives stood up to bullies in a public way. Click here to show them your support.