Food and Agriculture in 2 Minutes
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This past week, European Union Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis delivered the opening speech in Brussels at a conference on modern biotechnology in agriculture, where he emphasized the importance of scientific innovation as a solution to global problems such as health epidemics and climate change. The commissioner voiced his belief in science, pushing for open dialogue between all stakeholders to discuss how the EU can benefit from and enable innovation in the food and ag sectors and encouraging public debate.
In other biotech news, Andrew Porterfield of Genetic Literacy Project addressed how Monsanto’s new RNAi rootworm-fighting corn seed is not a GMO, nor transgenic or engineered. Noting the product is approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, he explains that the technology doesn’t affect corn crops at all, but rather silences a gene found in rootworm to ward off the invasive pest. Porterfield emphasizes that RNAi activity does not affect the crops, animals that eat the crops, or humans, making corn safe for human consumption.
Jennie Schmidt also addressed GMO misconceptions in an article for Global Farmer Network. The Maryland soybean farmer discussed Tom Brady’s concerns about GMOs raised in his new health book, inviting the New England Patriots quarterback to visit her farm to gain further insight into the benefits and nutritional advantages of GMO crops, asserting genetic engineering is safe and essential to agriculture. She urges Brady and the public to understand the scientific truth rather than common misconceptions.
Meanwhile, David Zaruk of The Risk-Monger debunked twelve common lies spread about pesticides by organic lobbyists, claiming they spread misinformation and stunt scientific progress. Addressing common misconceptions like pesticides cause cancer and organic farmers don’t use pesticides, Zaruk provides extensive detail to dissuade these claims, and explaining why organic foods aren’t necessarily better than conventional ones.
I’m Maya Menon for the Food and Ag report in Washington