To the Editor,

This is in response to the story “H-E-B Organics to offer families healthy options” story. Being a conventional farmer in Ellis County, I read with obvious interest the article about H-E-B Organics to offer families healthy options. As a farmer, I have no issue with organic products. Actually, there are organic growers I know and admire from a strictly entrepreneurial aspect. My issue lies in the fact that this article resorts to denigrating a technology that has never shown to cause a single health issue. Also, this particular retail chain as well as most grocery stores stock and sell a multitude of products derived from crops that employ biotechnology, aka GMO. There has never been any scientific evidence that differentiates nutrition or food safety between these two production practices. Biotechnology has substantially reduced the need for pesticide applications, lending to increased environmental benefits.

Sensational news headlines tend to ignore the scientific facts regarding the safety of modern production practices. The planet is expected to reach a population of 9 billion by the year 2050. There is only a finite amount of arable land (suitable for agricultural production) on the planet and it will require increased yield per unit to sustain a stable supply of food. You should ask yourself the following question, “Are you willing to plow up wildlife habitat to provide an adequate supply of food?”

Technology that conventional farmers utilize on their farms face years of scientific review and regulatory approval at great expense to both the provider and therefore the farmer. I can assure you as a conventional farmer, my first priority is the sustainability of the land that I operate. After all, they aren’t making any more of it.

Scott Averhoff,

Ellis County conventional farmer