Started on Halloween of 2008, Biofortified.org pooled together the work of various scientists who were frustrated by the environmental movement’s entire approach to GMOs. Since that time, the blog has blossomed into its own non-profit—Biology Fortified, Inc.—and now includes a plethora of writers on a wide range of topics.
In many ways Karl Haro von Mogel—one of the blogs co-founders and editors—was the perfect person to start Biofortied.org. Haro von Mogel is a Ph.D. candidate in Plant Breeding and Plant Genetics at UW-Madison. While at UC Davis Haro von Mogel was a student of acclaimed plant geneticist Dr. Pamela Ronald. If the green gene movement has a founding text it is Ronald’s book Tomorrow’s Table: Organic Farming, Genetics and the Future of Food. Ronald wrote Tomorrow’s Table with her husband—an organic farmer who once served as president for the California Certified Organic Farmers—and for many environmentalists its thesis is controversial: genetic engineering and organic agriculture practices can work side-by-side. In fact, they must if we are ever to have a sustainable agriculture system.
While most people treat genetic engineering and organic agriculture as worlds apart, the green gene movement is trying to think beyond the polarization. According to Haro von Mogel, the gulf between them constructs a false dichotomy. “I find the whole debate between organic and genetic engineering to be artificial and contrived. Because organic is about the way you grow crops… Genetic engineering is about getting a trait into a crop that you didn’t have before. It actually doesn’t make sense to me that you couldn’t have a genetically engineered crop grow on an organic farm.”
Read the full original article: Marco Rosaire Conrad-Rossi on Biology Fortified, Inc. | At the Vanguard of the Green Gene Movement and Beyond