New York Times columnist Kristof supports biofortification to battle malnutrition
In a New York Times article, Nicholas Kristof discusses the importance of biofortified crops in aiding the battle against poverty and malnutrition. He points out that sweet potato, golden rice and other crops genetically engineered with vitamin A help poor countries like those in Africa where distribution of vitamin A capsules is costly and vitamin-rich crop varieties are scarce. Kristof also addresses critics of biofortification: “the European left’s sad hostility to scientific tinkering with crops may slow acceptance of biofortification. If that hostility gains ground, it will be harder to save children from blindness and death.” Read more.
USDA petition for genetically modified apples that won’t turn brown
According to the Associated Press, a Canadian biotechnology company petitioned the USDA to approve a genetically modified apple that won’t brown soon after it is sliced. Neal Carter, president of the company that developed the apples, says the improvement could make apples more popular in snacks, salads and other meals. The USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service explains that biotechnology regulations are meant to ensure that genetically modified crops are just as safe for agriculture and the environment as conventionally bred crop varieties. Read more.
Anti-biotechnology crimes pressure Europe’s brightest researchers to quit
A Wall Street Journal piece calls it “a shame and a tragedy” that France’s National Institute for Agricultural Research will no longer develop new varieties of genetically modified crops. Marion Guillou, head of the organization, explains that the decision followed the destruction of €1.2 million in experimental crops by radical activists, and was just one example of crimes that have caused many other European farmers to quit. Guillou pointed out that advancements in the genetic research of wealthy countries such as France have made significant contributions to improvements in agricultural production. Read more