Food and Agriculture in 2 Minutes
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Writing for Dairy Herd Management, Hannah Thompson-Weeman voices concerns about what children are hearing in schools regarding animal agriculture. The Animal Agriculture Alliance director contends kids and young people are prime targets for animal rights activists who promote misinformation regarding pesticides, antibiotics, hormones, and animal conditions. She challenges experts and teachers to engage youth in the area and help them learn the scientific truth about modern agriculture.
Meanwhile, in an article for Farm Futures, attorney Gary Baise examines National Institute of Health scientist Aaron Blair’s involvement in the International Agency for Research on Cancer’s glyphosate report. He questioned why Blair allegedly withheld evidence showing that the herbicide glyphosate doesn’t cause cancer. Noting governments have taken regulatory action based on this false report, Baise contends Blair’s actions have had a significant impact on global agriculture.
Misinformed accusations were also the topic of concern for University of Florida professor Kevin Folta who examined consequences of an infamous rat study in a blog post for Medium. Pointing out that issues in methodology, data presentation, and ethics have proven the study holds little validity, Folta argues anti-scientific and misinformed agendas have serious consequences, as numerous countries suffering from food security have since adopted restrictive policies on GMOs even though biotechnology tools could provide viable solutions.
In other biotech news, astrobiologist David Warmflash discusses how genetic engineering could give wheat and other cereal grains nitrogen fixation capability in an article for Genetic Literacy Project. He explains that this modified wheat can essentially fertilize itself from the air which, if successful, would increase crop yield while using less land. Warmflash is optimistic that this could provide a solution to increasing food security and sustainability concerns in wake of a rising global population.
I’m Maya Menon for the Food and Ag report in Washington.