Howard Vlieger

A Farmer’s Perspective on GMOs and Glyphosate


Howard Vlieger is not your typical GMO (genetically modified organism) critic. He’s a third-generation family farmer, God-fearing Christian, conservative Tea Party Republican, and lives in northwest Iowa. What makes him extraordinary is that, despite all this, he is not afraid to counter the “promises and hype” promulgated to farmers by the biotech industry. Even more remarkable, he goes out of his way to share what he has found with any person or group that is willing to listen. He has a perspective that’s different from your average consumer, health professional, scientist, or GMO opponent because he’s out in the fields and farms experiencing things firsthand.

Vlieger considers himself a “student of the soil” and began using alternative farming methods in 1989 to produce crops that are nutritious and free of chemicals. In 1992 he started his crop advisory work to help farmers decrease their dependency on chemicals and move toward organic or biological farming methods.

His first direct experience with GMOs came in 1997 when he planted a test plot comparing BT (GMO) corn to the conventional version of the hybrid. The seed cost was more than $10 an acre higher for the BT corn and yield was 3 bushels less per acre. In addition, the BT corn was 5 percent wetter at harvest than the conventional corn. Farmers get docked when their corn has a higher moisture content. When it was all said and done, he lost $57.99 per acre.

He planted BT corn the following year and again lost money — this time $58.95 per acre. “The BT corn failed as far as improving our profit margin compared to the conventional corn,” says Vlieger.

Around the same time he planted his first GMO test fields, he also decided to do a little experimenting on his own. He had heard from farmers in Nebraska that cows “shied away from the BT corn.” So he gave his cows the choice to consume the conventionally grown corn or BT corn. His cows ate the conventionally grown, however they smelled the BT corn and walked away from it. “That’s not normal,” says Vlieger. He has tried this with many other animals and found that if they have not been forced to consume GMOs in the past, they won’t eat them and will go for the conventional feed instead. (continue reading)

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Howard is seeing visible cancer in some dairy cows in the mid west, that general consensus is being caused by Round Up/Glyphosate in the supplemental food supply of dairy cows.

It is possible that some of these cancerous cows end up in pet food?

In 2003 Glyphosates were beginning to be used as an antibiotic per FDA in the food supply

Residues of glyphosates used in “pre-harvest” applications, mainly just to ease in harvesting  crops is showing up in multiple thousands above “safe” levels of glyphos as determined by FDA

This disruption of the microbiome in the soil, the animals and now, we the people is well founded

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Howard Vliger on his experiences of late with researchers and dairy farmers on glyphosates, March 19. 2019

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