I was on vacation and missed all this GMO-debate excitement, but it deserves a belated blog post. Last week, this op-ed article in the New York Times by Nina C. Federoff prompted a strong response from anti-GMO activists. Federoff argues that world hunger, the trends of climate change, require greater research on genetically modified (GMO) foods. She further argues that the Environmental Protection Agency’s hesitance about GMO crops will make them too costly and impede research and development.
Federoff sites the example of the Green Revolution as proof that technology can feed the world. The Green Revolution of course was able to produce these higher agricultural yields while running an ecological debt to soil, water reserves and nitrogen. Now agricultural soils are seriously depleted, the nitrogen cycle has been completely interrupted by fertilizer production and the areas practicing this intensive agriculture are facing severe water shortages. Federoff also points out that more livestock feed must be grown as more of the world’s population is consuming meat or making it a staple of their diet. She concludes that GMO development is not dangerous and that molecular methods have the same hazards as crop modification through other methods.
This video Farmer to Farmer: The Truth About GM Crops shows the reality of GMOs and the trouble with herbicide resistant weeds. "We've just been relying too heavily on Round-Up, in every crop."