Calestous Juma, professor of the practice of international development at Harvard—and “one of the most innovative thinkers on how to harness new technologies for economic development”—believes genetically modified (GM) crops are a necessary agricultural solution to help address the challenges of climate change and population growth, a Council on Foreign Relations blog states.
“It doesn’t make sense to reduce the size of the toolbox when the challenges are expanding,” Dr. Juma said in an interview with Isobel Coleman, Senior Fellow for U.S. Foreign Policy at the Council on Foreign Relations. He predicts in 2012 “there will be more GM crops grown in developing countries than in developed countries.” READ MORE »
Confirming the safety of biotech crops, research by Europe’s top food safety regulators concluded a strain of genetically modified (GM) maize has no negative effects on human health or the environment.
The biotechnology panel of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) said it “did not identify adverse effects on the environment or human and animal health” during the 2010 growing season from the biotech corn. The panel reported that the study is consistent with its previous scientific opinions on the safety of the crop and its recommendations on risk management.
EFSA published the findings based on an analysis of GM maize produced in 2010, Food Navigator news reports. In 2008, EFSA scientists reached the same conclusion supporting the safety of the strain of GM maize.
EFSA is a leading authority on food safety risk assessment that provides independent scientific advice for the European Union’s food supply. Read the full EFSA scientific opinion here.
Farmers in Ghana should use agricultural biotechnology solutions to boost crop productivity and overcome environmental challenges, a leading expert told a meeting in Accra of the Open Forum on Agricultural Biotechnology (OFAB), GhanaWeb reports.
“Some critical challenges facing farmers including weeds, pests and diseases, spoilage due to over-ripening, inadequate irrigation and lack of mechanization can be addressed through effective application of biotechnology,” Professor Josephine Nketsia-Tabiri, Director of the Biotechnology and Nuclear Agriculture Research Institute (BNARI), told the session.
The forum gathered over 100 Ghanaian farmers with scientists and policymakers to discuss the recently passed Biosafety Law, which enables the application of biotechnology in Ghana’s food crop production after four years of consideration by Parliament. With Ghana’s recent approval, there are now 30 countries planting biotech crops worldwide. Read more.