Science: Genetically enhanced foods are greener option

It is unfortunate that many advocates of sustainable agricultural practices and “green” thinkers have embraced ideas that lie well outside scientific reality, and have let the anti-science zealots control the environmental movement. 

Evidence is accumulating that genetically enhanced foods could actually be the “greener” option.

“Round-Up Ready,” or herbicide-tolerance trait, which allows farmers to treat their fields to kill weeds, while leaving the crop-plant unharmed, has allowed farmers to implement no-till and other conservation-till agriculture techniques, saving a billion tons of precious topsoil from eroding and increasing soil organic content.

The second trait is called “Bt” for Bacillus thuringiensis, a bacterium. Plants that are transformed inserting a gene from this bacterium produce a natural protein called Cry1A,  which is harmless to humans, but lethal for specific insects like the corn borer.

The environmental benefits of Bt-crops are also well documented—the use of highly toxic insecticides has decreased 10-fold in the U.S., and surprisingly, the diversity of beneficial insects in fields in China has been enhanced by adopting these crops.

Overall, the use of these technologies over the past two decades has decreased land use by over 100 million hectares, thus saving precious natural resources and biodiversity. 

It would be a shame if progress is hindered or halted by people who wrongly believe they’re making the world a better place by opposing beneficial, sustainable technologies, while advocating for the more expensive organic or natural produce that have no scientific backing to justify the extra expense.

Read full, original article: Those evil GMOs aren’t as evil as you think

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