Forbes Magazine published an article titled Green Genes this month featuring CBI Expert Dr. Pamela Ronald. The article describes her work bridging the gap between genetic engineering and organic farming with her husband, organic farmer Raoul Adamchak. Dr. Ronald and Raoul hope to feed the world in a sustainable manner through “crops that limit the use of pesticides and fertilizers while delivering more food per acre planted.”
Dr. Ronald has developed rice that can resist the floods in India and Bangladesh that continue to destroy 4 million tons of crops each year. She also sees the value of genetically engineered rice that contains the vitamin A because this rice can reduce the number of children who die each year from vitamin deficiency (this rice was created by Syngenta and academic researchers).
In addition to Dr. Ronald, the article also features Karl Haro Von Mogel, a graduate student studying agricultural biotechnology at the University of Wisconsin - Madison. Karl writes Biofortified, a blog about the technology and the promise it holds for the future of agriculture.
Joel Kotkin of Forbes Magazine discusses the troubling “assault on mainstream farmers” that is slowly manifesting itself in policies that result in “cutoffs on water…and a growing movement to ban the use of genetic engineering in crops” at a time when the world population is multiplying rapidly. He reminds his readers that agriculture’s impact extends further than many assume, and a threat to mainstream agriculture and scientifically run farms will hurt the U.S. economy by adversely affecting growth in other sectors, including food processing, marketing, shipping and supermarkets.
According to Mr. Kotkin, a realist approach must guide our food policy because “scientifically advanced farming still produces the majority of the average family’s foodstuffs, as well as the bulk of our exports,” whereas “organic foods and beverages account for less than 3% of all food sales in the U.S.” He believes that this approach will help us feed the world while growing our economy and saving American jobs.
You can read Joel Kotkin’s entire piece here.
Michael Le Page explores a number of positive uses of genetically modified organisms in this September 14th article. Le Page praises the use of genetics in boosting oil yields from algae, turning plant wastes into fuel, plants that use nitrogen more efficiently provide the same yields as normal crops with less fertilizer, to genetically modified crops that resist pests and disease.
The article can be read here.
Dr. Pamela Ronald, University of California-Davis Professor and Raoul Adamchak, Market Garden Coordinator at the UC Davis Student Farm, are featured on Fora.tv. This video about the marriage of two strange bedfellows, genetic engineering and organic farming, elucidates the complementary nature of agricultural biotechnology and organic farming. Dr. Ronald is a member of our Experts List.
Karl Haro von Mogel – a Ph.D. student in Plant Breeding and Plant Genetics at UW-Madison and avid blogger on Biofortified – has submitted an excellent entry in the Ashoka Changemakers “GMO Risk or Rescue? Helping Consumers Decide” competition.
Please click here to read his entry and submit your vote… the deadline is 4 p.m. Eastern on Sept 16th!