Experts at the Modern Biotechnology in Indian Agriculture press conference this week expressed the importance of agricultural biotechnology to India’s food security, pointing out that “agricultural biotechnology would modernise agriculture, increase crop yield, enhance the livelihood of farmers and make food affordable.”
“People in developing countries spend 50 to 80 percent of their income on food and depend on agriculture for their living. So lower food prices are critical. However, there are still many opposing agricultural biotechnology, which is proven to give higher yield and is safe for humans, animal, and environment,” said C. Kameswara Rao of the Foundation for Biotechnology Awareness and Education (FBAE) in Bangalore.
You can read the entire article here.
COPENHAGEN, DENMARK U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack addressed the COP15, discussing the links between agricultural productivity and climate change. Vilsack points out that increasing food demand is putting more and more pressure on the environment, which is already suffering from a number of factors, including deforestation.
“To the extent that we can increase agricultural productivity we can reduce pressures on land and remove one driver of deforestation. Science and technology are already playing critical roles in moving us towards this direction,” said Secretary Vilsack. A supporter of ag biotech, Secretary Vilsack has said, “Certainly, biotechnology is one strategy for more sustainable agriculture.”
The entire video can be seen here.
The transcript of Secretary Vilsack and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s conference call on Food Security can be found here.
Please share your thoughts on agriculture and biotechnology’s role in mitigating climate change.
2009-2010 marks the first growing season in which genetically modified seeds exceeded the cultivation of conventional crops in Brazil. According to industry leaders, 67.4% of the Brazilian soybean crop in 2009-2010 was grown with transgenic seeds.
GM soybean and Bt corn are the only two transgenic technologies available for commercial cultivation in Brazil. Until last year, most estimates indicated participation below 50% for transgenics. This milestone marks an advance for agricultural biotechnology in Brazil, where corn and soybeans are the most important crops in the country.
You can read the entire article here.
The Economist published an article in their prestigious “The World in 2010” issue about the clear-cut environmental benefits of agricultural biotechnology. The author, Matt Ridley, writes that the results of agricultural biotechnology are astonishing and promising, as genetically modified crops need less land and water to achieve the same yield.
This issue of The Economist is dedicated to looking ahead, and if Mr. Ridley is right, agricultural biotechnology will continue to be adopted worldwide as it is crucial to preserving our climate and feeding the world. He writes, “within a decade there may be crops that are no-till, insect-resistant, omega-3-enriched, drought-tolerant, salt-tolerant and nitrogen-efficient. If they boost yields, then the 21st century will see more and more people better and better fed from less and less land.”
You can read the full article here.
Following up on an interview with MSNBC last month (featured on our blog and can be found here), Michael Specter was a guest on The Daily Show with John Stewart discussing his book Denialism and how American’s distrust of science may be harming the planet.
During the discussion, Specter says, “I believe genetically modified foods have an important place in humanity. A billion people are starving everyday and they need science to help them feed themselves and we are going to need 70% more food in the next fifty years. How are we going to get there?”
The entire interview can be watched here.
Please share your thoughts on Denialism and how attitudes towards science and technology, particularly biotechnology, may be limiting progress.