UNESCO approves biotech center in Nigeria to promote food security
According to the Sun News, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) approved the establishment of the International Biotechnology Centre at the University of Nigeria, the first of its kind in Africa with the goal to “promote food security and tropical disease research and also provide a platform for exchange and collaboration at the national level and within the region and beyond.” Read more.
California Farm Bureau Federation says biotech contributes to American innovation
The California Farm Bureau Federation says biotech is a key part of American innovation and ensures an abundant food supply. John Hart, director of the American Farm Bureau Federation’s news service, calls for the removal of regulatory hurdles to approving biotech crops.
“It is time to invigorate America’s innovative spirit by renewing our commitment to agricultural biotechnology, removing the regulatory hurdles that stand in the way and continuing to make consumers aware that biotech crops are not only safe but desperately needed.” Read more.
Discover Magazine blog calls for science-based policies in support of ag biotech
In a Discover Magazine blog, science author and commentator Chris Mooney discusses misperceptions about the safety of agricultural biotechnology and the importance of science-based regulatory policies. Read more.
The scientific, economic and social benefits of biotechnology are clear, yet government regulations continue to stifle new biotech innovations that will help our economy grow. Dr. Nina Fedoroff, former science and technology advisor for the U.S. State Department and professor of biology at Pennsylvania State University, emphasized this in a New York Times op-ed article about the safety and efficacy of biotech crops.
She points out GM crops lower costs for farmers by producing higher yields on less land, while also benefiting the environment with reduced pesticide use and tilling. These advances are particularly important to help feed a quickly growing world population, but because of complicated regulatory hurdles there are only a handful of varieties of approved biotech crops. Dr. Fedoroff sums it up and writes, “It is time to relieve the regulatory burden slowing down the development of genetically modified crops. ” Read more.
NPR: Biotech could boost global food supply and mitigate impact of climate change
NPR’s Science Friday discussed the role of biotechnology in helping to meet the challenges of climate change and improve global food security. Gerald Nelson, senior research fellow at the International Food Policy Research Institute in D.C. said governments should approve genetically modified (GM) crops to increase yields and disease resistance. Read more.
Hunger relief agencies welcome Kenya’s approval of GM maize
Kenya’s Daily Nation announced the country has approved the importation of GM maize after guidelines were released last week.
This is welcome news for hunger relief agencies that have been pushing the government to approve genetically modified foods to help mitigate local starvation. Read more.
India calls for GM crop approval to contribute to a second green revolution
India hopes biotechnology could lead to a second green revolution, India Infoline News Service reports.
Local farmers, scientists and members of the ag biotech industry gathered to call on the Indian Parliament to expedite approval of GM crops. They write: “Plant biotechnology is a powerful tool that helps farmers provide food, feed, fiber, and fuel to a growing global population in a sustainable manner, while reducing agriculture’s footprint on environment.” Read more.
Top agriculture expert in China says country needs biotech for food security
According to China Daily, China has increasingly turned to biotechnology to boost food production.
Huang Jikun, director of the Center for Chinese Agriculture Policy at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, said, “Advanced biotechnology will help guarantee China’s food security and benefit both farmers and consumers.” Read more.
Kenya’s Agriculture Minister calls for approval of GM crops
In the face of famine in the Horn of Africa, food security is gaining importance as an issue that must be addressed.
In the Nairobi Star, Kenya’s agriculture minister Sally Kosgei said genetically modified (GM) crops are safe and called for their adoption “to rescue starving Kenyans.” Read more.
Biotech crops increase food production while minimizing environmental impact
Sustainability blog Greenbiz discusses biotech crop varieties that optimize food production while minimizing the impact on the environment.
They said it best:
“When you can grow more food using the same inputs of land, water and fertilizer, everyone-farmers, consumers, hungry people and anyone who cares about CO2 concentrations in the earth’s atmosphere -is better off.” Read more.
UK shoppers support GM food to lower prices
People around the world support cheap, accessible foods. According to Farmers Weekly Interactive, research shows that more than a third of shoppers think GM food should be sold in the UK to help make food more affordable. Read more.
USDA says US is committed to promoting GM crops to help feed the world
In an interview with ABC Rural, Australia’s longest running radio broadcasting program, Mike Dwyer, director of global policy analysis from the USDA, confirmed the US’s commitment to GM crops to help feed a growing world population. He said GM wheat should be on the “short list” of crops approved. Read more.