I love NPR, though I’m not a regular Splendid Table listener. This morning’s show featured a guest who claimed that all GMO’s are bad with no potential benefit to feed the developing world. That’s simply not true.
The human population is anticipated to reach 10 billion by 2100 and agronomists expect food shortages. For the first time since the green revolution, this will no longer be due to distributional shortcomings, but limited production capacity. Billions may go hungry–including many Americans. I am an environmentalist, but I’m also convinced that transgenic crops should be part of the solution.
Not all GMOs are the same and it’s not just about “giant heartless agribusinesses.” We should be supporting philanthropic collaborations that are working to grow crops using less fertilizer, which limit fossil fuel use and carbon emissions. Plants can also be designed to survive on very little water — a valuable asset given that climate change is expected to expand the world’s arid regions.
I’m extremely disappointed that The Splendid Table served to irresponsibly perpetuate fear by giving air time to a anti-GMO lobbyist who clearly doesn’t understand the potential of responsible transgenic research.
For more information, I suggest reading Tomorrow’s Table: Organic Farming, Genetics, and the Future of Food by UC Davis professor Pamela Ronald and organic farmer R. W. Adamchak. There’s also more in my June column at Bloomberg.