Our agriculture, tourism, real estate development, boating and beach sports, sightseeing, sport fisheries, even the values of our own homes rely upon us acting as responsible stewards of our ecosystems.
This is not our land and water. We are merely taking care of it in our time. This duty was passed to us by previous generations and we will pass it on to our families and future Floridians. They all depend upon us to do the right things now and we will not fail.
We would not allow oil slicks or poisonous landfills to take it all way. We cannot allow chemical based farming of GMO crops to do the same thing. After decades of expanding chemical based agriculture citizens and agriculture interests are learning the same hard lessons we learned in the medical fields; natural solutions developed from new technology are the best approach and result in fewer unintended consequences. Today we have serious problems growing worse and Florida state government has not taken the lead to get ahead of it. Reliance upon applied chemicals to produce GMO foods consumers prefer to avoid is damaging our Florida far beyond the fields where chemicals are used.
Chemical runoff seeps into our soils and flows into our streams, swamps, rivers and saltwater. Nature is showing us the warning signs of bigger problems to come. We have algal blooms choking rivers and waterways. The blooms release harmful toxins into the air we breathe. Beautiful homes and communities are damaged as fish and wildlife are forced to alter natural patterns of sustainable life. We cannot accept this on our watch. Without change it will surely grow worse.
We have to make the changes in agricultural methods to protect and preserve our ecosystems. Timber, mining and the petroleum industries stepped up and made changes when they were causing the damage. It is now time for our agriculture industries to do as others have done. Governor Bruce Nathan will not ignore or put temporary band aid solutions on the problem. He will establish a Round Table Commission bringing all parties and concerns together to develop final solutions ending the problem. He can do that while protecting agriculture revenues and preserving the beauty, bounty and natural wonders of Florida far into the future. He will not leave these issues to be toyed with by politicians serving the interests of large donors buying favors through campaign donations and support.
That is how we got here.
We are fortunate to have the world’s greatest agriculture and biotech firms involved in Florida agriculture. I will invite representatives of Monsanto, Dow and DuPont corporations to our Round Table to meet with leaders of affected interests so all voices are heard and action is effective. No one has a greater reason to care about the future of agriculture industries in Florida than those who want to keep selling the products all farmers use. The titans of yesterday’s agriculture can become partners in the necessary transition to organic production, seeds and sustainable practices. The best agriculture science minds in the world have a key role to play in providing sustainable crop production consumers are comfortable with and our ecosystems can thrive next to. Florida cannot permit self-serving interests of one industry to adversely affect a multitude of other industries and quality of life for citizens. What we can do is what Florida will get with Governor Bruce Nathan. He will stop kicking this can down the road and we are going to do it with a real partnership involving those who created the problem. The ancient natural beauty we share our lives in today will be restored and protected for the Florida of our future.