We are pleased to announce that CBI is sponsoring The Atlantic Food Summit on Tuesday, April 26 in Washington, DC. The annual Food Summit brings together some of the top experts in agriculture and food production to explore topics such as food security, nutrition and sustainable agriculture. The Food Summit will be from 8:00 AM - 2:30 PM EST.
Confirmed Food Summit speakers include Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA), who serves as co-chair of the House Hunger Caucus, and Dr. Nina Fedoroff President of AAAS, the world’s largest scientific society. We’ll be sharing the full agenda and speaker line-up in the next two weeks.
Even if you can’t make it to Washington for the Food Summit, you’ll be able to watch it live on the web here, and of course, follow CBI’s live-tweets from the Food Summit @agbiotech.
Indian farmer says biotech crops contribute to agricultural productivity
In a Wall Street Journal online forum to debate the impact of GM crops in India, an Indian farmer said GM crops have “undoubtedly” improved agricultural productivity. Vanchinathan Ravichandran grows biotech cotton, which he says occupies 90% of cotton cultivation since the technology was approved in 2002. He urges policy makers to remove bans on other biotech crops: “We need crops with improved traits such as drought tolerance, submergence tolerance, salinity resistance and so on.” He adds, “When Genetically Modified crops can provide answers to these issues, why deprive us of the opportunity to benefit from science and technology?” Read more.
GM crops could help Zimbabwe achieve food security
News Day, a Zimbabwe publication, said the country should be more open to GM technology to help meet the challenge of food security. The article points out Zimbabwean farmers need the technology to produce more crops on less land. “The Western world is flourishing because of GM food. But then why is GM technology shunned in Zimbabwe?” Read more.
Dr. Pamela Ronald discusses benefits of GM crops at New Zealand lecture
Dr. Pamela Ronald, Professor of Plant Pathology at UC-Davis and author of Tomorrow’s Table: Organic Farming, Genetics and the Future of Food, posted a blog on the benefits of GM crops and the negative impact of regulatory hurdles in New Zealand. Dr. Ronald discussed her lecture at the Royal Society in Wellington, New Zealand, where she made the point that GM crops have “enhanced [the] goals of sustainable agriculture.” Read more.
Research on GM wheat could improve yields and drought tolerance
The New York Times reports that GM research by private companies could lead to drought-tolerant and high-yield genetically modified wheat. Research focuses on “strengthening the rooting structure of wheat, enhancing the intake of water, increasing the plant’s biomass and facilitating CO2 absorption.” Read more.
Increasing number of African countries conducting GM crop trials
According to Reuters, more African countries are likely to start growing genetically modified crops. Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Malawi, Mali, Zimbabwe, Nigeria and Ghana are conducting research and field trials of GM crops such as rice, wheat and sorghum, which may lead to their adoption. Ephraim Mukisira, a director at the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute, said, “We should rely on biotechnology to prevent further losses in yields and performance of crops. We need to expedite scientific methods that reduce time needed to develop new crop varieties.” Read more.
Forbes blog: Regulation of GM crops hurts agricultural trade
In a Forbes blog, Dr. Henry Miller, founding director of the Office of Biotechnology at the FDA and current fellow at the Hoover Institution, says that “discriminatory” government regulations of genetically modified crops around the world have unintended economic consequences, such as disrupting billions of dollars of agricultural trade in export markets.
“The best and most definitive solution of all would be for the harmonization of regulatory approaches in order to eliminate the existing discrimination against and excessive regulation of innocuous genetically engineered plants.” Read more.