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April 2013 - Volume 19, Number 2


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The Truth About Trade and Technology

By Deborah Thornton

Based in Des Moines, the non-profit advocacy group Truth about Trade and Technology (TATT) is led by real American farmers, supporting free trade and agricultural biotechnology. The Chairman is William Horan of Rockwell City, Iowa, who grows corn, seed corn, and soybeans, and raises pork.


The purposes of TATT are to “distribute accurate information [that] challenges our opponents,” work to promote international trade by educating the public and informing influential business and government officials, and disseminating information about the newest developments in agricultural biotechnology.


TATT is committed to promoting free trade and agricultural biotechnology through farmer-led educational initiatives. They recruit credible voices to speak on “behalf of farmers who have firsthand knowledge of how much expanded trade and innovations in biotechnology mean to rural America.”


The general idea of TATT is that “free trade is good for farmers because it helps them sell what they grow to people all around the world,” keeping food prices low and increasing the availability of food. This increases economic prosperity and spreads freedom and democracy to other countries.


Biotechnology in agriculture is highly beneficial, helping farmers increase productivity by “boosting crop yield and providing protection from pests, viruses, and poor weather.” Advances help Iowa and American farmers feed a growing world, responding to their need for better diets. It is inappropriate for biotechnology propaganda about agriculture to be used to justify government protectionism and raise trade barriers, while protecting special interests.


Among other activities, TATT hosts the Global Farmer Roundtable, held each October as an invitation-only event of the World Food Prize Symposium in Des Moines – gathering farmers from around the world to discuss food production issues.


Additionally, they offer the Kleckner Scholarship, to assist farmers around the world in talking about their efforts to ensure the world’s food and nutritional security.


Mary Boote is the Executive Director of TATT and their Website is


FACTS & OPINIONS is one of our quarterly membership newsletters, arriving in January, April, July, and October. It consists of short articles of public interest with an emphasis on current issues.


FACTS & OPINIONS is published by Public Interest Institute at Iowa Wesleyan College, a nonpartisan, nonprofit, research and educational institute, whose activities are supported by contributions from private individuals, corporations, companies, and foundations. The Institute does not accept government grants.


Contributions are tax-deductible under sections 501(c)(3) and 170 of the Internal Revenue Code.


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