In today’s edition of The Heartland Daily Podcast, Kevin Folta, Chairman of the Horticultural Sciences Department in the Plant Molecular and Cellular Biology Program and Plant Innovation Program at the University of Florida at Gainesville, joins Manager Editor of Environment & Climate News, H. Sterling Burnett. Folta joins Burnett to discuss the effects of the slanderous attacks he and other biotech researchers and science communicators are facing due to their honest discussion of the benefits of genetically modified organisms.
Approximately 800 million people are currently malnourished, and the world’s population is expected to rise by 2 billion by the year 2050. If we use current technologies—or, Heaven forbid, roll back use of modern agricultural practices—we will have to plow down literally millions of acres to relieve the projected hunger expected to come as a result of the growing population. Fortunately, a widespread embrace of biotechnology and genetically modified (GM) crops can help ensure there is enough food for all.
The fact is this: humans have been genetically modifying plants and animals for millennia. Just because it was done more incrementally, and out in the field instead of in a laboratory, does not make it any less of a modification. The scientific method as applied to crop-rearing offers the same boons it has to all natural sciences, namely made it more rigorous and more conducive to human progress.