Australian National Press Club: Sustainability benefits of industrial agriculture

Screen Shot at PM

In Canberra, Australia to address the National Press Club, Genetic Literacy Project Executive Director Jon 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 care-taking for our soil, we need agro-ecological innovations, but we also need modern technology,” he said, “and that includes genetic engineering.”

“If we didn’t have synthetic fertilizers we could probably support a world population of 3-4 billion. We’re close to double that now, so if we were to cut out synthetic fertilizers which were introduced in the green revolution, half the world population would have to die off.

“Well, we don’t want half the world population to die off.  We need technology, we just need to deploy it in a way that is ecologically sensible, and biotechnology opens up a lot of doors.”

Entine said that in the United States, however, there had been a slow but recognizable shift in the perception in favor of GM foods in recent years.

“Two years ago, 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, particularly among the more educated elite.

Every major liberal [left-leaning] newspaper, what we call the progressives, have been the ones that have been most skeptical [about biotechnology], I think because of the fear that it’s a big business enterprise.

That’s changed. There’s been a real shift in favor of the safety of GMOs.

“The New York Times, the Washington Post, the Boston Globe, the LA Times, the Chicago Tribune, well known science publications like Scientific American, and organizations such as the American Medical Association, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the National Academy for Sciences – these are all very, very well known progressive organizations.

“Every one of them have come out for the safety of GMO foods and for opposing mandatory labelling [of GMO foods] on the grounds that labelling as it’s been proposed in the US would be very deceptive for a whole wide range of reasons.

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

View Jon Entine’s speech before the National Press Club of Australia:

View online: here

Outbreak
Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
Talking Biotech
Genetics Unzipped
Nigeriacotton

Video: We can ‘finally’ grow GMOs—Nigerian farmer explains why developing countries need biotech crops

Nigerian farmer Patience Koku discusses the GMO crop trials she is conducting on her farm, and why growers can "rise ...
mag insects image superjumbo v

Disaster interrupted: Which farming system better preserves insect populations: Organic or conventional?

A three-year run of fragmentary Armageddon-like studies had primed the journalism pumps and settled the media framing about the future ...
dead bee desolate city

Are we facing an ‘Insect Apocalypse’ caused by ‘intensive, industrial’ farming and agricultural chemicals? The media say yes; Science says ‘no’

The media call it the “Insect Apocalypse”. In the past three years, the phrase has become an accepted truth of ...
breastfeeding bed x facebook x

Infographic: We know breastfeeding helps children. Now we know it helps mothers too

When a woman becomes pregnant, her risk of type 2 diabetes increases for the rest of her life, perhaps because ...
organic hillside sweet corn x

Organic v conventional using GMOs: Which is the more sustainable farming?

Many consumers spend more for organic food to avoid genetically modified products in part because they believe that “industrial agriculture” ...
benjamin franklin x

Are most GMO safety studies funded by industry?

The assertion that biotech companies do the research and the government just signs off on it is false ...
gmo corn field x

Do GMO Bt (insect-resistant) crops pose a threat to human health or the environment?

Bt is a bacterium found organically in the soil. It is extremely effective in repelling or killing target insects but ...
favicon

Environmental Working Group: EWG challenges safety of GMOs, food pesticide residues

Known by some as the "Environmental Worrying Group," EWG lobbies for tighter GMO legislation and famously puts out annual "dirty dozen" list of fruits and ...
m hansen

Michael Hansen: Architect of Consumers Union ongoing anti-GMO campaign

Michael K. Hansen (born 1956) is thought by critics to be the prime mover behind the ongoing campaign against agricultural biotechnology at Consumer Reports. He is an ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend