Research from Australian scientists and insights from a Portuguese farmer support the agricultural and economic benefits of biotech
Australian scientists verify salt-tolerant wheat improves crop yields
Science Daily reported that a team of Australian scientists have introduced a salt-tolerant gene into a variety of durum wheat, with results showing increased grain yields by 25% on salty soils. The research was published this week in Nature Biotechnology, and is the first of its kind to fully describe the improvement of salt tolerance in an agricultural crop from start to finish.
Dr. Rana Munns, one of the lead authors of the study, explained the importance of the findings: “This work is significant as salinity already affects over 20% of the world’s agricultural soils, and salinity poses an increasing threat to food production due to climate change.” Read more.
Farmer Maria Gabriela Cruz: “the case for biotech crops is clear”
Truth about Trade & Technology shared insights from Maria Gabriela Cruz, President of the Portuguese Association of Conservation Agriculture, who makes her living by growing biotech corn on the farm her family has owned for generations. She worries that the EU’s persistent resistance to the technology will cause Europe to fall behind.
Commenting on biotech crops, Cruz said, “They produce better yields, require less water and fewer chemicals, and deliver environmental benefits. I know this from personal experience because I’ve been planting and harvesting Bt corn in Portugal since 2006. It’s the one kind of biotech crop I can raise here-and I wish I had the freedom to try other varieties, like farmers in the United States, Canada, Brazil, Argentina, and so many other countries.” Read more.