Biotech crops increase food production while minimizing environmental impact
Sustainability blog Greenbiz discusses biotech crop varieties that optimize food production while minimizing the impact on the environment.
They said it best:
“When you can grow more food using the same inputs of land, water and fertilizer, everyone-farmers, consumers, hungry people and anyone who cares about CO2 concentrations in the earth’s atmosphere -is better off.” Read more.
UK shoppers support GM food to lower prices
People around the world support cheap, accessible foods. According to Farmers Weekly Interactive, research shows that more than a third of shoppers think GM food should be sold in the UK to help make food more affordable. Read more.
USDA says US is committed to promoting GM crops to help feed the world
In an interview with ABC Rural, Australia’s longest running radio broadcasting program, Mike Dwyer, director of global policy analysis from the USDA, confirmed the US’s commitment to GM crops to help feed a growing world population. He said GM wheat should be on the “short list” of crops approved. Read more.
On April 26, CBI sponsored The Atlantic Food Summit, which brought together leading experts in food and agriculture to discuss solutions to pressing challenges such as sustainable agriculture and global food security. Check out the slideshow below for some photos from the event. Full video from the Food Summit is available here.
Click the “full screen” button in the bottom right corner of the slideshow below to view the slideshow full screen.
The Federal Register announced that the USDA is accepting nominations for members of the Advisory Committee on Biotechnology and 21st Century Agriculture (AC21).
The AC21 meets up to four times per year in Washington, DC, with responsibilities that include examining the long-term impacts of biotechnology on the U.S. and global food and agricultural system and providing guidance to the USDA on the application of biotechnology. Members of the AC21 will be selected based on their knowledge of one or more of the following areas: genetic research of plants, farming and agricultural practices, bioethics, biotechnology industry activities, international trade and regulations relevant to biotechnology policy.
The following is basic information for making submissions:
- Guidelines: Nominations for AC21 membership should be in writing and provide the appropriate background documents required by USDA policy;
- Deadline: Written nominations should be received by fax or postmarked by April 18th;
- Submission: All materials should be sent to Michael Schechtman, Designated Federal Official, Office of the Secretary, USDA, 202B Jamie L. Whitten Federal Building, 14th and Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20250. Forms may also be submitted by fax to (202) 690-4265, if they are followed by written copies.
For additional information, please visit the Federal Register website.
Brigham Young University professor says biotech crops have a long history of success
In the The Daily Herald, Professor of Biology at Brigham Young University Duane Jeffrey says that genetic modification has been around for a long time and many of the concerns about biotech crops have not been verified by facts. The article points out, “This process has been going on for millennia. Indeed, the only common crop I can think of that may not have been so modified is the pine nut.” Over the past 15 years since biotech crops were first planted, the number of hectares of biotech crops has expanded 87 times. “By now, the major concerns, both those with some basis in science and some without, have hugely been laid to rest, and it is time to get on with reality.“ Read more.
Forbes blog: nutrition benefits of GM food could help fight obesity
According to a Forbes blog, policy makers committed to fighting obesity should deregulate genetically modified foods because they provide health and economic benefits. Dr. Henry Miller, founding director of the Office of Biotechnology at the FDA and current fellow at the Hoover Institution, says, “The adoption of scientifically sound, risk-based regulation of biotechnology by USDA and EPA could transform the current trickle of commercial products into a torrent. The result would be the founding of new companies; new products; and the creation of jobs and new wealth - as well as lower prices and greater availability of healthful fresh fruits and vegetables. Read more.
USDA Sec. Vilsack calls for recognition of farmers on National Ag Day
According to the Morris Sun Tribune, USDA Sec. Tom Vilsack recognized the valuable contributions of farmers and ranchers on National Ag Day. “Agriculture touches everyone’s life in one way or another, yet our farmers and ranchers can often be overlooked for the important work they do, and we should all take time during this day to thank producers for a job well done,” Vilsack said. Read more.
In a speech to the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) for Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Private Sector Day, Senator Mike Johanns of Nebraska emphasized the importance of agricultural biotechnology for world food security and the need for minimizing regulatory delays to the approval of biotech products.
He explained his support for adopting biotechnology worldwide to meet global demand for food. “It is vital for the United States and other countries to support science-based standards and systems that will bring agricultural biotechnology products to the market to meet this demand.”
Senator Johanns pointed out the contributions of biotechnology to soybean and corn production. “Technological advances have not only increased yields, they have also increased the efficiency with which the crop is produced.”
When noting that the length of time for USDA deregulation has increased on average by more than 700 percent, he said, “We risk jeopardizing the tremendous progress we have made in food production.”