NPR: Biotech could boost global food supply and mitigate impact of climate change
NPR’s Science Friday discussed the role of biotechnology in helping to meet the challenges of climate change and improve global food security. Gerald Nelson, senior research fellow at the International Food Policy Research Institute in D.C. said governments should approve genetically modified (GM) crops to increase yields and disease resistance. Read more.
Hunger relief agencies welcome Kenya’s approval of GM maize
Kenya’s Daily Nation announced the country has approved the importation of GM maize after guidelines were released last week.
This is welcome news for hunger relief agencies that have been pushing the government to approve genetically modified foods to help mitigate local starvation. Read more.
India calls for GM crop approval to contribute to a second green revolution
India hopes biotechnology could lead to a second green revolution, India Infoline News Service reports.
Local farmers, scientists and members of the ag biotech industry gathered to call on the Indian Parliament to expedite approval of GM crops. They write: “Plant biotechnology is a powerful tool that helps farmers provide food, feed, fiber, and fuel to a growing global population in a sustainable manner, while reducing agriculture’s footprint on environment.” Read more.
Scientist researching drought resistant wheat
According to NPR, scientists are researching ways to engineer wheat so it can thrive even when water is scarce. A drought impacting Russia this summer pushed wheat prices to their highest in years, underscoring the importance for a variety of wheat that can survive in droughts. In addition to wheat, scientists and researchers have already engineered drought-tolerant maize, and it could be sold commercially in just two years based on the regulatory process. Listen here.
Countries in Africa and Asia have much to gain economically from adopting GM crops
Biofortified posted a piece about a paper by Kym Anderson in New Biotechnology that shows that the potential economic benefits for those countries in Africa and Asia willing to adopt genetically modified (GM) crop varieties can be great. However, the countries would not gain economically under this model if they ban imports of GM crops. Read more.
Argentine Farmer writes that biotechnology is about human rights and eradicating hunger
Global Farmer-to-Farmer Roundtable participant Roberto Peiretti penned a piece about what he labels as “gene-ocide,” negatively portraying genetically modified crops without sound science. Roberto has always supported environmentally responsible agriculture and has committed to no-till agriculture for many years. He writes, “Biotechnology and its synergy with no-till agriculture have the potential to improve nutrition and feed a growing world by boosting agricultural productivity and profitability in a sustainable fashion. This is a synergy we need if we are going to succeed in doubling global agricultural production during the next thirty to fifty years.” Read more.
A new book warns that we will experience a global famine in the next century without investment in agricultural technologies, and a Chicago Council on Global Affairs fellow shares that progress has been made towards an African agricultural revolution.
New book describes argues for increased investment in agricultural technologies
A new book by Australian journalist Julian Cribb titled The Coming Famine lays out the global challenges that will contribute to a global famine, particularly the lack of fresh water, arable farmland, and fossil fuels. The book provides some solutions to preempt a global food shortage. The author argues that investment in agricultural research (including agricultural technologies) must increase dramatically in order to produce enough food to sustain the growing population and avert food shortages this century. Read more.
Technology will help promote a food secure Africa
African leaders are finally speaking out about the need for an agricultural revolution says Roger Thurow, Senior Fellow for Global Agriculture and Food Policy at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, in a piece in The Globe & Mail . Thurow writes, “the way to an agricultural revolution in Africa has long been clear: promote research, put the latest technology in the hands of the farmers and boost investment in rural infrastructure.” Read more.
What we can learn from the March to Restore Sanity
Inspired by Jon Stewart’s March to Restore Sanity, NPR correspondent Adam Frank writes that the call for sanity and reason should extend to science, including genetic engineering. Sound science and evidence should be driving civil discourse, not extremism. He writes, “The point is not to have your views summed up in a single sentence but to remain open to evidence and argument.” Read more.