Tuesday, March 22, 2016

There is a lack of scientific evidence of the danger of GMO products. Nevertheless, if we as individuals wish not to use GMO products based on what we know, need and feel, that is our choice. However, if our opposition to GMO products for others leads to malnutrition, suffering and starvation, that is another matter and worthy of our reflection of our actions and the consequences thereof. Below are excerpts from a speech by the president of a major agricultural college, Purdue Univerity, at the US Agriculture Department’s Agricultural Outlook Forum in Arlington, Va., Feb. 25, 2016. Following this is a fascinating article about the potentials of CRISPR. Also, a legal case against GM Salmon.

“The attack on GMO technology is the most blatant anti-science of the age, but it is far worse than that,” Purdue University President Mitch Daniels on Thursday (Feb. 25) said. “Lives are at stake, and while scientists, regulators and business people are naturally reluctant to fight back, it’s morally irresponsible not to.”

Daniels cited projections by the United Nations that the global population is expected to grow to more than 9 billion people in 2050, generating a 70 percent increase in the demand for food. He described GMOs as the best hope to ensure the world’s poor have access to an affordable and nutritious diet.

“Thousand of studies and trillions of meals consumed prove the safety of biotechnologies,” he said. “We would never withhold medications with a safety record like that, and it’s just as wrong and just as anti-scientific to do so for food.”

"The threat this time is internal. It will be a self-inflicted wound. What is troubling me, and I hope troubles you, is that there is a shockingly broad, and so far shockingly successful, movement that threatens this important ascent of humankind out of the condition that has plagued us since we first walked upright: of having enough food to meet the most basic, the most elementary need of any living species. That threatens our ascent by choking off the very technologies that could make that next great triumph possible.

I suggest to you that you have a positive duty to do things that probably do not come naturally, to contest and refute junk science and false claims against the technologies that offer so much promise to the world. And not solely on the polite objective grounds that come most naturally to folks in the pursuits represented here, to people who work in the regulation of agriculture and its products, to those who study academically these subjects and work on the new technologies and the policies around them, or to the businesses that produce these products as the technologies become available.

We are used to and only comfortable with polite and civil dialogue: PowerPoints, facts, data at meetings where people have agreed, at least tacitly, to follow the facts where they lead. That is not this argument. We are dealing here, yes, with the most blatant anti-science of the age. But it is worse than that. It is inhumane and it must be countered on that basis. Those who would deny with zero scientific validity the fruits of modern agricultural research to starving or undernourished people—or those who will be, absent great progress—need to be addressed for what they are, which is callous, which is heartless, which is cruel."

Sources for the above are:



And here is an outstanding article about newer methods. It is about new gene-editing tool, CRISPR, that is sweeping agriculture.This method can transform the debate over genetic modification. Here it is:


A legal case against GM Salmon: