In March, UC Davis professor Pamela Ronald gave a scientific argument in favor of the idea that genetically engineered (not “genetically modified”) crops will be an important tool in the future of world food production. In fact, she says engineered food will be critical to the success of human life on this planet and can actually save lives in a number of ways.
She makes a good argument.
Most people associate genetically modified foods with Monsanto and their effort to control corn seed production. Monsanto’s bad press helped spur the anti-GMO movement which recently gained the Mexican fast-food chain Chipotle. Chipotle announced they had eliminated genetically modified foods from their menu.
In her Ted Talk professor Ronald explains that humans have engineered food for thousands of years. It is only in the last 40 years that we began to learn and understand the science behind combining genes into our food crops.
For me the most compelling arguments are the fact that engineered crops can be more resistant to pests and stressors such as drought and floods. The important by-product of this argument is that farmers can use less, much less, or no pesticides at all.
I’m not joining up with the Monsanto band wagon and I certainly support all the farmers that are being targeted by them in legal actions. However, I do see the important benefits to this new way of looking at how we produce our food. I urge you to take a look at her talk and see what you think.
Please take the time to comment and let me know how you feel.