Genetically modified crops reached a significant milestone this week and a new third-party study clearly demonstrates the benefits of genetically modified drought-tolerant corn for African farmers and consumers.
1 billion hectares of biotech crops planted
This week agricultural biotechnology marked an important milestone: farmers around the world have planted more than 1 billion hectares of GM crops since they were introduced in 1996. This is a huge accomplishment (there are 2.47 acres in a hectare) and demonstrates that farmers globally are recognizing and taking advantage of the benefits made possible through high-yielding GM crops. Full story.
Interesting ag biotech news from around the world this week includes the promotion of biotech crops by a farmer in Italy and improvements in Asian rice that could result in significant yield increases.
An Italian farmer fights for GM crops
Italian farmer Giorgio Fidenato is determined to promote the benefits of biotech crops, going so far as to plant GM corn on his farm, despite Italy’s moratorium on genetically modified seeds that was enacted in March. “Our biggest goal is to show consumers that it is safe to eat,” he says, in an Associated Press article.
McKinsey & Co. released a report that communicates a positive outlook for the future of biofuels, while Sierra Leonean scientist and recipient of the 2004 World Food Prize, Monty Jones, called for more awareness among individuals about genetic engineering and the benefits it can bring to Africa.
State Deparment official Dr. Nina Fedoroff discusses the advantages of genetically modified crops
Fora.tv featured a lecture by Dr. Nina Fedoroff, Science and Technology Adviser to the U.S. Secretary of State, titled “Genetically Modified Crops: Monsters or Miracles?” In the lecture Dr. Fedoroff discusses the role that GM foods can play in food security as the population rises to 9 billion. She also addresses the promise of Golden Rice, rice engineered to help the body produce Vitamin A so children do not die or go blind from Vitamin A deficiency, a common problem in the developing world.
Science journal Nature published editorials on the need for a second green revolution to eliminate world hunger by 2050 and how overregulation is slowing down a rice variety than can lower the risk of blindness in children, while the production of a biotech crop in India yields advantages for female employment opportunities and earnings.
“Second green revolution” necessary to eliminate world hunger
A second green revolution with a new focus in agricultural research will be needed to provide enough food for the world’s population in 2050, according to an editorial published by science journal Nature on July 28. In order to achieve a Green Revolution, we will need to invest in high-tech seeds and low-tech farming practices. The editorial was part of Nature’s latest issue where the theme was food and agriculture. READ MORE »