McKinsey & Co. released a report that communicates a positive outlook for the future of biofuels, while Sierra Leonean scientist and recipient of the 2004 World Food Prize, Monty Jones, called for more awareness among individuals about genetic engineering and the benefits it can bring to Africa.
State Deparment official Dr. Nina Fedoroff discusses the advantages of genetically modified crops
Fora.tv featured a lecture by Dr. Nina Fedoroff, Science and Technology Adviser to the U.S. Secretary of State, titled “Genetically Modified Crops: Monsters or Miracles?” In the lecture Dr. Fedoroff discusses the role that GM foods can play in food security as the population rises to 9 billion. She also addresses the promise of Golden Rice, rice engineered to help the body produce Vitamin A so children do not die or go blind from Vitamin A deficiency, a common problem in the developing world.
Ag biotech expert Dr. C.S. Prakash talked to Soy Connection about the benefits of ag biotech, while researchers have found evidence that food security could actually be enhanced by planting biofuel crops.
Dr. Bruce Dale, Professor at Michigan State University, shared with us his thoughts on chemical engineering and biotechnology and whether or not we can achieve a biobased economy.
1. How does your work as a professor of chemical engineering relate to biotechnology?
Chemical engineers apply physics, chemistry, math and biology to meet human needs. So biotechnology is one tool for us to use to meet these needs.
2. How will biotechnology help us reduce our dependence on fossil fuels?
Plant material (“biomass”) is the only large scale, potentially sustainable source of the liquid fuels so important to our civilization. Biotechnology provides some very important tools for the conversion of biomass to biofuels.
3. How close are we to achieving a biobased economy? What needs to happen in order to make the transition? It took us decades to get our society locked in a petro economy. It will take decades to get us unlocked. But we can and must do it. There are no insurmountable technical barriers. What we most need is an unwavering commitment to free ourselves from our oil addiction.
4. In a biobased economy, are food and fuel resources in competition? Why or why not? If we continue business as usual, absolutely yes. If we are the least bit smart, creative and adaptable, absolutely not.