Cuban officials embrace GMOs to feed hungry population, but groups push back

CubanCornFarm USDeptOfAg CCBY point x px

[Editor’s note: Rev. Ben Johnson is Senior Editor at the Acton Institute.]

Cuban officials have announced the island is turning to genetically modified organisms (GMO) to help feed its increasingly hungry population.

But Cuba’s use of GMOs, which it hopes to begin planting [April 2017], is threatening to start an intra-Left conundrum. Although the EU surveyed a decade of tests and found that “biotechnology, and in particular GMOs, are not per se more risky than e.g. conventional plant breeding technologies,” many continue to deride so-called “Frankenfoods.”

Officials in Havana hope that GMO foods will boost Cuba’s corn production to 140 bushels per acre and the soybean yield above 40 bushels per acre. That sounds fairly uninspiring to farmers in the United States, where corn production averaged 175.3 bushels per acre last November, and soybeans yielded 52.5 bushels per acre. But Cuba produces just over 30 bushels an acre of corn, and its soy production has been described as “almost non-existent.”

The country’s socialist economy harms agriculture in numerous ways.

The island experimented with transgenic crops in 1996 and again in 2011, but both times the research was abandoned. Now, Western GMOs may deliver the revolutionary progress and improved living standards that socialism never could.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: What may save Cuba from hunger? GMOs

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

Outbreak
Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
Talking Biotech
Genetics Unzipped
can you boost your immune system to prevent coronavirus spread x

Video: How to boost your immune system to guard against COVID and other illnesses

Scientists have recently developed ways to measure your immune age. Fortunately, it turns out your immune age can go down ...
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 ...
globalmethanebudget globalcarbonproject cropped x

Infographic: Cows cause climate change? Agriculture scientist says ‘belching bovines’ get too much blame

A recent interview by Caroline Stocks, a UK journalist who writes about food, agriculture and the environment, of air quality ...
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