Study shows consumers will pay a premium for biotech foods with enhanced nutrition
Research conducted by Wallace Huffman, professor of agricultural economics at Iowa State University, shows consumers are willing to pay more for biotech foods with enhanced nutritional benefits, according to the Philippines publication Manila Bulletin.
Professor Huffman, whose study was published by the Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics (JARE), said, “What we found was when genes for enhancing the amount of antioxidants and vitamin C in fresh produce were transferred by intragenic methods, consumers are willing to pay 25 percent more than for the plain product (with no enhancements).That is a sizable increase.” Read more.
Korean government considering approval of GM crop cultivation
Korea’s government is considering approval of GM crop cultivation to help improve the country’s food security, Korea Times reports. “We are getting ready because we don’t want to be left behind in 20 or 30 years when everybody does GM,” a government official said. Read more.
Chinese seed expert calls for support of biotech innovations
According to China Daily, seed expert Liu Shi introduced insect-resistant genetically modified (GM) cotton seeds to help Chinese farmers overcome a worm plague that threatened to destroy the country’s cotton production. Known as “Golden Fingers” for his success, Mr. Liu says China should promote technology and research to spur innovation in the local seed industry. Read more.
Leading Kenyan scientists says opposition to GM crops threatens food security
A leading Kenyan scientist, Dr Felix M’mboyi, says Europe’s opposition to GM crops “could threaten food security” in the developing world, The Guardian reports.
Dr. M’mboyi said, “The affluent West has the luxury of choice in the type of technology they use to grow food crops, yet their influence and sensitivities are denying many in the developing world access to such technologies which could lead to a more plentiful supply of food.” Read more.
Wisconsin newspaper speaks to safety of genetically modified foods
The La Crosse Tribune, a Wisconsin publication, says “we have been genetically modifying our foods for thousands of years through a process called hybridization.” The article points out GM foods are safe since, “the difference is that now we have the technology to do this in a very precise way that we heretofore lacked.” Read more.
Former USDA Secretary Dan Glickman says technology will improve the global food supply
During The Atlantic’s event “Feeding Future Generations” in Washington D.C., Former USDA Secretary Dan Glickman said technology is necessary to feed a growing world population. He pointed out that possible cuts to the U.S. foreign assistance budget add urgency to helping other countries, particularly in the drought-stricken Horn of Africa, to produce higher yielding crops. Read more.
UC-Berkeley plant biologist points out the high costs of GM food labeling
In the University of California-Berkeley’s Food Blog, biotechnology specialist Dr. Peggy Lemaux discusses the high potential costs consumers would need to pay if there was mandatory genetically modified (GM) food labeling in the US.
“If there is widespread agreement on the need for labeling, then a market could arise for GMO-free labeled foods for which people would pay extra,” Lemaux said. “This would be similar to the current situation with Kosher and organic foods. Since having access to GMO-free foods is not a matter of food safety, but food preference, this approach would lead to a situation in which only those people who want the extra information would pay for it.” Read more.
Report: Delays in GM crop approvals are putting Europe’s food security at risk
According to Reuters, Europe’s biotechnology industry presented EU policy makers with a report demonstrating that “agricultural imports vital to EU food security” are increasingly being put at risk due to delays in the approval of GM crops. The report urges the European Commission, which oversees GM crop approvals, to make a commitment to reducing the backlog of applications. Read more.
In a GreenBiz article, business and sustainability writer Marc Gunther writes that he supports agricultural biotechnology solutions to help feed the planet. He speaks with Steve Savage, an agricultural scientist with a PhD in plant science from the University of California at Davis, who draws from USDA data to point out that organic agriculture alone doesn’t produce enough food to ensure global food security since only a small percentage of total cropland is organic.
“I never have any problem with anybody farming, including organic farming,” Mr. Savage says, “just as long as people aren’t under the illusion that they’re saving the planet that way.” He adds, “A less than 1 percent solution after 30 years isn’t a big solution, and we do need a big solution.” Read more.
WSJ op-ed: Nestle’s Chairman says biotech is essential for global food security
In an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal, chairman of Nestlé Peter Brabeck-Letmathe says Europe’s refusal to use biotechnology “has halted the multi-decade rise in agricultural productivity that has allowed us, so far, to feed more mouths than many people believed was possible.” Read more.
Scientists point out EPA proposed regulatory burdens are obstacle to innovation
The Journal of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB Journal) published an article by Dr. Nina Fedoroff and Dr. Bruce Chassy which says the EPA’s proposal to expand regulatory burdens would create obstacles to scientific innovation.
“A further increase in the regulatory burden would impose steep barriers to scientific innovation and product development across all sectors of our economy and would not only fail to enhance safety, but would be likely to prolong reliance on less safe and obsolete practices.” Read more.
Prominent food industry expert condemns attacks on GM papayas in Hawaii
Perishable Pundit, an online publication by the prominent food industry author and news commentator Jim Prevor, calls the devastation caused by attacks on papayas in Hawaii “unacceptable.” His article features an interview with Delan Perry from the Hawaii Papaya Association, who points out the need for GM papaya varieties to fight plant disease. Read more.