According to the Boulder County Business Report, this week Boulder County, Colorado commissioners voted to allow genetically modified (GM) corn and sugar beets to be grown on open space owned by the county.
In response to the decision, GM crop proponents said that “science shows such crops are safe, and that they help farmers get better yields with fewer chemicals.” Read more.
During a speech at the New America Foundation, U.S. Senator Dick Lugar (R-Indiana) emphasized that meeting the world’s future food needs will require innovative agricultural technologies, Agri-Pulse reports. His comments were in response to a report by the McKinsey Global Institute, which pointed out that the addition of three billion new consumers over the next 20 years will create challenges for agricultural production and the environment.
As one of the few farmers currently serving in the U.S. Senate, he referenced his experience working on a family farm in Indiana, “I am convinced that improved seed technology is vital. Given the challenges of altered weather patterns, future water scarcity, new pests and diseases, and the need for more nutritious plants, we must use all the technology in our toolbox, including bioengineered seeds,” he said. Read more.
A key takeaway from the 17th conference of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP17) is the need for international cooperation to address the challenges of climate change in places like Africa, where drought and other severe weather conditions have contributed to poor crop production and starvation.
In a Science Magazine article, Calestous Juma, professor of the Practice of International Development at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, calls on international organizations to help Africa and other developing countries meet food demands and drive economic growth through expanding access to agricultural biotechnology.
Professor Juma proposes the development of an intergovernmental agency that “would help African countries adopt biotechnology strategies enabling African farmers and the population at large to benefit from the world’s wealth of scientific and technological knowledge.” Read more.
Ghana’s minister for food and agriculture supports ag biotech for battling hunger
Mr. Kwesi Ahwoi, Minister for Food and Agriculture in Ghana, said Africa should use agricultural biotechnology, like GM crops, to battle hunger and malnutrition, while ensuring environmental sustainability during a conference in Accra, All Africa reports.
“Climate change can significantly reverse the little progress that has been made towards poverty reduction and food security unless Ghana increases the application of science and technology, including biotechnology to improve agricultural productivity,” he emphasized.
Ghana’s government is under pressure to allow GM crops that will increase food production to feed the country’s rising population and to address the challenges of increasing water and land scarcity. Read more.
Indian newspaper says GM crop research could improve local crop production
According to Commodity Online, the Indian government should support agricultural research for the development of high-yielding genetically modified (GM) crop varieties.
The article references Argentina’s agricultural success from adopting GM crops. “It was the adoption of genetically modified (GM) soybean seeds, no till planting that helped raised production.” Read more.
Biotech crop benefits only just beginning for agriculture
Western Farm Press reports that Robert Fraley of Monsanto says advancements in biotechnology, plant breeding, and agronomic practices must work in harmony to maximize future crop yields. Read more.
Highest courts in France and EU confirm France’s ban on GM crops is illegal
A recent press release issued by EuropaBio focuses on the French high court’s ruling that France’s ban on biotech crops is illegal. This ruling reconfirms the European Court of Justice’s (ECJ) earlier finding that the cultivation ban is illegal. Read more.