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Saturday, March 7, 2015

 3:17 PM 

Walker backs renewable fuel standard, oppose labeling genetically modified foods at Iowa Ag Summit

Gov. Scott Walker today said he backs renewing the renewable fuel standard, would phase out federal wind tax credits and opposes requiring the labeling of genetically modified foods.

Addressing the Iowa Ag Summit in Des Moines, Walker was asked a series of questions on agriculture by host Bruce Rastetter, who had made part of his fortune off the ethanol industry.

Walker said the RFS, which guarantees market access for ethanol and biodiesel, is needed now because there isn’t a free and open marketplace.

Walker has previously declined to answer questions about the policy, which helps Iowa corn farmers. He said he would eventually like to get to the point where a standard was no longer needed.

"I think eventually you can get to that," Walker said. "But you can’t get to that unless you deal with market access."

Walker also said he sees no need to label foods that are genetically modified, saying it gives the false impression it’s something different. He said producers who want to label their food as organic, for example, should be free to do so. But the federal government shouldn’t mandate food that are genetically modified be labeled as such, adding the U.S. has some of freshest food in the world.

“We should be proud of that,” he said. “We shouldn’t let anyone tell us otherwise.”

Walker got some of his biggest applause talking about the work requirements he put in place for able-bodied adults seeking government assistance. He was also applauded while talking about a proposal in his budget requiring adults seeking unemployment and other government assistance to go through a drug screen and possibly a test to qualify. He dismissed those who claim the move is designed to make it harder to get help.

“I’ve got to tell you we’re not,” Walker said. “We’re making it easier to get a job.”

-- By Staff

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