Did Bill Gates Just Change the GMO Debate

In The Country 03-09
New research and new support for GMO's ( Farm Journal )

COMMENTARY -- I'm always amazed at the new research that floats across my desk on nearly a daily basis. This week, a new international study revealed scientists have found a way to make crops use 25% less water without compromising yield. 

The key is altering the expression of one gene-- the gene that controls the protein responsible for opening and closing the microscopic pores on the plants leaves that let water escape. The scientists say that gene is found in all plants.

This study was funded in part by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and this week Mr. Gates also making his own announcement. During an "Ask Me Anything" interview Gates saying, "GMO foods are perfectly healthy and the technique has the possibility to reduce starvation and malnutrition when it is reviewed in the right way." He added that he doesn't stay away from Non-GMO foods but it is "disappointing that people view it as better."

That statement on the heels of another major research project. University teams in Italy compiling what's called a meta-analysis of studies around GMO corn. Looking data from six continents and thousands of fields over two decades the results say GMO corn does increase crop yields by about 25 percent and can actually provide more health benefits than traditional corn because it decreases the number of food contaminants like mycotoxins.

Even so...Its unlikely to change many minds or impact the billions of dollars in sales of organic products. After 40 years of debating GMO's, I think what I find most interesting is that science is still moving forward. New innovations using things like CRISPR-Cas and others are keeping these conversations relevant and timely. 

I would encourage you to do the research, learn what science is finding and join the conversation. Farmers will grow what consumers demand and that's the nice thing about America; we have a choice. If we didn't, there wouldn't be any debate at all.

Comments

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Submitted by morphd on Fri, 03/09/2018 - 21:19

Yes, the science supporting the safety and value of GM crops is solid - and there's more value to come as researchers develop new traits. When you dig into the opposition to GMOs, you learn that much of it is funded by the organic industry. Getting consumers worried about food safety motivates them to purchase higher-priced organic food. Their motivation is to make money, not to protect the public.

And... the science supporting human-caused climate warming is also solid. Excessive warming is predicted to cause significant environmental disruption and human suffering. When you dig into the opposition to the conclusions of climate researchers, you learn that much of it is funded by fossil fuel interests. They are motivated by wanting to make money from their huge investment in equipment and fossil-fuel bearing properties, not to do what is best for the planet.

Trust science and be wary of its opponents. Keep a sharp eye out for self-interest.

Submitted by marcuscassius on Mon, 03/12/2018 - 08:00

What "value" have these crops brought to anyone but the seed companies and the store owners? No new food values. No decreased crops. No new profits for farmers. Nothing for the consumer at all.

40 years of promises and all we have in a monopoly on a monoculture and an increased risk of famine.

In reply to by morphd (not verified)

Submitted by Jim on Sat, 03/10/2018 - 11:59

Good for him but anyone who REALLY wants to know whats going on should definitely check this out, its a pretty scary warning from a history and religion professor. Pretty damn eye opening: https://ancientprophecy.weebly.com/

Submitted by Marcuscassius on Mon, 03/12/2018 - 07:58

I think that anyone that really does the research stay well clear of these products. GMO's have never been proven safe by anyone that wasn't in the industry, and and anyone that is outside the industry comes up with some very dicey results, and immediately gets clobbered by those industry "scientists" (Usually a group od lab techs taht know less about the science than the common layman). There has never been a long tern test on humans by anyone.
The shadow of cancer hangs on these products like a plague mother.
The unbelievably unmentioned risk associated with monoculture crops is like inviting terrorism into your living room. Famine is almost a guarantee.

Submitted by Beam Me Up on Thu, 06/21/2018 - 15:55

Glad to see someone here who is sane. GMO crops are a bastardization of nature. And Glyphosate poisons the environment. It's a disgusting government that legalizes profit over people. And you can include all our illegal wars under that umbrella as well.

In reply to by Marcuscassius (not verified)