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Which GM crops might be embraced by the organic movement — if sustainability matters

| | March 21, 2017
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This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

[Editor’s note: Gerhart Ryffel is a professor at the Institute of Cell Biology, Essen University Hospital in Germany.]

Several years ago, I proposed to develop a new category of GM plants, i.e., organic plants, genetically modified plants, that are compatible with the standards of organic farming. Reviewing all the arguments made pro and contra gene manipulation as a technique compatible with organic farming … I strongly believe that an integration is possible by respecting the various positions. It seems clear to me that it is essential to evaluate the properties of a genetically engineered crop and not the process used. The organic farming community should formulate, in a proactive manner, the requirements of genetically engineered crops to make them attractive for supporting sustainable agriculture.

However, in my view it is not advisable to call genetically engineered crops which could also be obtained by natural breeding as non-GMO. By the process used, they are GM crops. The organic movements should base their decisions on the product and specifically list GM crops that are acceptable according to norms of organic production. … I think that cisgenic potatoes resistant to late blight, bananas resistant to wilt disease, as well as golden bananas, are excellent candidates to be acceptable for organic farming.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: I Have a Dream: Organic Movements Include Gene Manipulation to Improve Sustainable Farming

For more background on the Genetic Literacy Project, read GLP on Wikipedia

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