GMOs are a lot more boring than the scare debate about them suggests

GMOs constrict a debate that really ought to be much broader.

Take drought resistance. An almighty rumble has been brewing on drought resistant GMO maize (more properly “water efficient”) as a strategy to adapt to climate change. All the tired old tropes of the GMO controversy get trotted out. What’s weird, though, is that the whole thing happens as though there were no alternatives. As though GMO Maize was the one true way to skin a cat.

This is preposterous. African farmers have been dealing with drought for years, hell, for millennia. It’s been literally thousands of years since they domesticated sorghum and millet, crops uniquely suited to drought-prone agroecologies.

While you’re shouting yourself hoarse over some exotic lab-based technique, they’re out there doing what they’ve always done: planting crops that will grow even with stunningly little rainfall.

The GMO debate is blind to sorghum and millet, just like it’s blind to cowpea, pigeonpea, and all the other drought resistant crops farmers in South Asia have been planting forever to deal with drought.

Read the full original article: What we’re not talking about when we’re talking about GMOs

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