CBI previously blogged about a panel at the World Economic Forum in Davos called “Rethinking How to Feed the World.” The panel featured notable leaders and CEOs including Jakaya M. Kikwete, President of Tanzania; Ellen Kullman, CEO of Dupont USA and Bill Gates, Chairman of Microsoft and co-Chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
The panel’s moderator asked Bill Gates, “Are you for or against genetically modified (GM) food?” Mr. Gates showed his support for the transgenic approach, saying it can “probably do better than any other approach” and called the disease resistance opportunities in GM crops “a real help.” Transgenic organisms, a subset of GMOs, are organisms which have inserted DNA that originated in a different species.
Given the rising number of people worldwide that are malnourished or undernourished, Bill Gates advises that we look into all available crop production options. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is currently supporting many organizations that are responsible for helping small farmers in the developing world grow more food and funding R&D in agriculture including ag biotech. For example, the Foundation funds HarvestPlus, a nonprofit that supports molecular breeding research (a type of transgenic engineering that modifies a crop for traits such as disease resistance using genes native to the crop) towards improving plant nutrition in Africa and Asia.
You can watch Bill Gates’ response to the question about GM food here.