Council for Biotechnology Information: What do you believe is the public’s perception of agricultural biotechnology and do you believe this is a fair portrayal of the science?
Dr. Ronald: There is no doubt that GE [genetically engineered] crops have an image problem in Europe and in some parts of the US. Part of the problem is that many see the process of GE as a tool that only benefits large corporations and large farmers in the US and other countries. But it’s also a tool for breeding, it’s a tool for biologists, it’s a tool for farmers. READ MORE »
CBI Expert Dr. Bruce Chassy, Professor of food microbiology and nutritional sciences at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and co-founder of Academics Review, will be participating in CBI’s panel at the 2010 BIO International Convention about public perception and agricultural biotechnology. He was kind of enough to offer us some of his initial thoughts on this critical subject. We look forward to hearing more from Dr. Chassy on May 5 at BIO 2010!
Council for Biotechnology Information: What do you believe is the public’s perception of agricultural biotechnology, and do you believe this is a fair portrayal of the science?
Dr. Chassy: I think the regular surveys that IFIC (International Food Information Council) does provide a pretty good insight into what the majority of consumers are thinking. Their most recent survey shows that great the majority of Americans do not view ag biotech, and in particular transgenic crops or GM [Genetically Modified] foods, as a food safety concern. READ MORE »
ISAAA, the organization that releases the yearly reports about the global state of agricultural biotechnology, has produced six short videos featuring the organization’s founder and chair, Dr. Clive James, discussing the latest developments and significant achievements in ag biotech. The videos are dedicated to the late Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, Dr. Norman Borlaug. All videos are available for streaming and download.
Below is the first of the six videos, titled, “The Norman Borlaug Legacy.” The rest of the videos can be viewed here. Enjoy!
“Corn, cotton and soybean that have been engineered to resist insect pests and herbicides are now planted on almost half of all U.S. cropland. An analysis of the U.S. experience with genetically engineered crops shows that they offer substantial net environmental and economic benefits compared to conventional crops; however, these benefits have not been universal, some may decline over time, and potential benefits and risks may become more numerous as the technology is applied to more crops.”
The report concludes that additional research that studies the full effects of GE crops is needed, and private-public partnerships are necessary to help realize the full potential of genetic engineering.
Thank you to our blog readers, Facebook fans and Twitter followers for participating in our recent survey! (And congratulations to Chris Kafer, the winner of our drawing to win a year’s subscription to The Economist!)