GM key to battle growing impact of climate change on farming

Climate change is turning farm fields brown in the Midwest and around the world just as global demand for food is soaring. In response, agricultural scientists are looking to genetic modification and an arsenal of other techniques to keep the food supply growing.

But the researchers are battling on two fronts. They need to persuade an increasingly wary world that biotech fixes are safe and won’t unleash poisonous “Frankenfoods” on the public. And they need to perfect the complex science involved in finding just the right genetic tweaks to help crops thrive even as nature fights back by building resistance in weeds and insects.

Monsanto currently has the only USDA-approved GM drought-resistant crop variety on the market. DroughtGard, part of the Genuity product line, is designed to help corn plants use less water when they are stressed by drought. Michael Fromm, a professor working in the Center for Plant Science Innovation at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, said it’s challenging to develop drought-resistant crops because those crops require multiple gene modifications instead of the single-gene modifications that make crops insect or disease resistant.

Read the full, original article: Scientists battle drought and fear about GMOs

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