GMOs gaining favor in US, Australia has potential to lead in biotech if ‘hard choices’ made

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An American journalist, scholar and GM advocate says Australia could be a leader in food biotechnology if politicians were willing to ‘make some real hard choices’.

“Australia helped develop the technology that developed the Arctic Apple, but they had to export it to Canada because there’s no path to development in Australia,” said Jon Entine, a senior research fellow at prominent American agricultural school, the University of California, Davis.

“I think politicians need to make some real hard choices.”

In Canberra to address the National Press Club, Entine said while GM technology was ‘not a silver bullet’, it was one of the tools the world needed if it was going to double food production by 2050.

“We need organic agriculture and some of the information that we learn from caretaking for our soil, we need agro-ecological innovations, but we also need modern technology,” he said.

Consumer concerns about GM crops persist, but Entine said that in the U.S., there has been a shift in favour of GM foods in recent years.

“Two years ago in the Unites States, the overwhelming majority of newspapers and the population was very, very pro-mandatory labelling, and very concerned [with whether or not] GMOs were safe,” he said.

“Over the past two years we’ve had a major shift in public opinion.

“The New York Times, the Washington Post, … the LA Times, the Chicago Tribune, well known science publications [like the] Scientific American, the American Medical Association, the American Association for the Advancement of Science…

“Every one of them have come out for the safety of GMO foods and for opposing mandatory labelling

“That’s a sea change. That wouldn’t have happened a few years ago.”

Read full, original post:  American GMO perceptions are shifting: journalist, biotech advocate tells Press Club

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