Article originally published by American Enterprise Institute.
Genetically modified (GM) crops are plants in which DNA has been altered in a way that does not occur naturally through plant breeding. Genetic engineering transfers selected individual genes within or across plant species to produce plants with targeted characteristics.
Some have questioned whether GM crops have been responsible for increased crop yields. Comparing US yields to European Union yields (where GM crops are banned) provides evidence that GM technologies have increased crop yields. Agricultural yields have increased over the past several decades. But, such increases are not fait accompli. Rather, they result from the development of new technologies. Banning yield-enhancing technologies means that food crop production will be lower than would otherwise be the case, and more water, land, and other inputs will be needed to increase global food production. (more…)
Opinion piece originally published by the Washington Post.
Of the several claims of “anti-science” that clutter our national debates these days, none can be more flagrantly clear than the campaign against modern agricultural technology, most specifically the use of molecular techniques to create genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Here, there are no credibly conflicting studies, no arguments about the validity of computer models, no disruption of an ecosystem nor any adverse human health or even digestive problems, after 5 billion acres have been cultivated cumulatively and trillions of meals consumed. (more…)
On a Tuesday morning in September, under a sweltering tropical sun on the island of Grand Cayman, 140,000 mosquitoes flit around in four large coolers in the back of a gray Toyota minivan. Behind the wheel is Renaud Lacroix, a Ph.D. in biology and medical entomology who works for the British biotechnology company Oxitec. A colleague, Isavella Evangelou, crouches behind him in a tight space next to the coolers. The minivan is idling on the side of a dirt road in West Bay, a quiet neighborhood where iguanas and roosters dart in and out of the yards of small homes painted in Caribbean pastels. The time has come for the mosquitoes to fulfill the purpose for which they were genetically engineered: a kamikaze mission to eliminate their own species.
The U.S. Senate has passed, by a vote of 63 to 30, a bill that would create a national standard for labeling food made with genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Yesterday’s vote marks a win for food companies, farm groups, and biotech firms, which have been pushing the federal government to set a single national standard in hopes of heading off a patchwork of state labeling laws, such as one that went into effect in Vermont on 1 July. But GMO critics say the bill fails to adequately protect consumers who want to know if a product contains GM ingredients.