Today’s biotechnology is simply a better and more efficient version of the plant breeding that humans have conducted for centuries, according to agricultural expert Dr. Robert Thompson of the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies.
“During the twentieth century, we made huge genetic progress increasing productivity of plants in increasing their tolerance to adverse conditions,” Thompson said in an interview with Green State TV. But we’ve gone about as far as we can go with classical plant breeding,” which he said is simply “crossing two species to bring a trait from one species to another.”
Dr. Thompson is a former dean of agriculture at Purdue University and an authority on international agriculture development. With biotechnology, he said, breeders can identify the trait they want, “snip out that gene . . . (and) splice it into the variety that you want to get it into, and you’ve got it there.”
The safety of biotech applications has been repeatedly reaffirmed by scientific studies, he added.
“Every national academy of science that ever has looked at biotechnology has concluded that there is no danger to human health and no danger to the environment in either human medicine or in food supply,” he said.
View the interview with Green State TV here.