Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Buy Fresh, Buy GMO

The title of this post comes from the cover of the latest issue of MIT Technology Review. Technology Review joins Scientific American in promoting GMO crops. These are the 2 most respected popular science publications in the world. I've read these 2 mags every month for > 40 years. To my knowledge their integrity is unimpeachable.
more than 15 years of experience with transgenic crops have revealed no health dangers, and neither have a series of scientific studies.
Humans have been creating plant hybrids for 1000s of years. Genetic engineering techniques let us insert just the desired gene instead of 1000s of genes -- surgery with a scalpel instead of a chainsaw.

But, we still need to be smart about how we use genetic engineering. Plants are promiscuous with their genetic material, there's no way the Roundup-Ready gene is not going to wind up in weeds. I believe it already has -- that was a bad idea.

Monsanto's heavy-handed patent policies and control of seed stock are reprehensible. But many GMO crops, like the golden rice that can save the lives of 100Ks of children who die from vitamin A deficiency, have been given to the developing world under much better, but still slightly restrictive, terms. But groundless fear is preventing their use.

The subtitle from the cover:

Population growth and climate change will make it harder to feed the world. We need to overcome our fears of genetically modified food.

1 comment:

Chris Heinz said...

The latest Wired has an article on Monsanto using GM techniques to identify new hybrids that they then breed by conventional methods.