Genetically engineered (GE) crops have had one of the fastest adoption rates of any new agricultural technology in history. Why are so many farmers planting biotech seeds in their fields? Wednesday morning’s first panel discussion at BIO addressed this very question, titled Ag Biotech – Improving Farmers Lives. READ MORE »
Dr. Wayne Parrott moderated a discussion of diverse views of ag biotech on Thursday. The panel included cotton, corn and peanut farmer Jimmy Webb, Nature Conservancy scientist Dr. Robert McDonald, economist Graham Brookes and Dr. Kater Hake of Cotton Inc. READ MORE »
BIOtechNow provides a summary of the ag biotech panel “Plant Science Technologies: Recent Advances That Will Change Our World.”
Clive Cookson, covering the BIO meeting in Atlanta, writes in the Financial Times today, “Brent Erickson, head of Bio’s industrial and environmental section, said the target set by the new National Renewable Fuel Standard - to increase production of cellulosic biofuel from nothing this year to 1bn gallons in 2013 and 16bn gallons in 2022 - was achievable.”
“New technology uses enzymes and micro-organisms to break down tough molecules such as cellulose in grasses and lignin in wood, producing ethanol and other liquids for use as fuels that can replace petrol (gasoline) or diesel for transport. Jack Huttner, who runs a cellulosic ethanol partnership between DuPont of the US and Danisco of Denmark, said: ‘From our point of view the technology is ready for commercialisation. It is no longer five years from the market.’”
Read the Financial Times piece here.
According to a report released today by UK-based PG Economics at the BIO Convention farmers around the world are growing more crops in a more environmentally sustainable manner.
The use of biotech crops has contributed significantly to:
- Removing 14.2 billion kg of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere — equal to removing nearly 6.3 million cars from the road for one year.
- Providing substantial net economic benefits at the farm level amounting to $10.1 billion in 2007 and $44.1 billion for 1996 to 2007.
Terry Wanzek, a farmer from North Dakota, who spoke at the press conference stated, “Because of biotechnology, we’re able to feed more people with less farmland than ever before. Biotechnology enhances production efficiency and creates a more plentiful supply of safe, reliable and affordable food for a hungry world. In the years ahead, our capabilities will do nothing but improve.”