Viewpoint: Food Evolution movie shows biotech is ‘an opportunity, not a disaster’

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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: Ben Gordon received his Master’s in development practice from UC-Berkeley in 2016 and will begin a PhD program in agricultural and resource economics at UC-Berkeley in fall 2017.]

Until [2016], I still wavered in my view of the role of modern biology in agriculture. But today, now that I understand its history, scope of application (i.e. as a tool in plant breeding, not an entire agricultural system), and limitations, I firmly believe it plays a crucial role in enabling humanity to address some of the most pressing challenges of climate change, migration, and moving toward a renewable economy. This is based on reading hundreds of blogs, papers, and reports from many countries and all sides of this complicated issue.

I was fortunate to see “Food Evolution” at a prescreening … and came away thankful that a 90-minute documentary was able to unpack how the world of plant breeding got mired in political and social turmoil. … But the next week, leading up to another screening at UC Berkeley campus, a letter denouncing the film as propaganda, and signed by a number of academics, was sent to several listservs, and subsequently published online. To see people affiliated with UC Berkeley and other universities describe “Food Evolution” as such is beyond disheartening.

It’s true, biotechnology has a long way to go to meet its potential, but this is an opportunity, not a disaster.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: “Food Evolution” – the ever evolving science

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