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Tomorrow‘s food: How GMO change global farming



That was close! Genetic engineering is spreading – hope for developing countries – feared in Austria I'm more afraid of it

I do not really want to eat it Driven by big companies – fought by environmentalists The entire field is toxic the entire time Curse or blessing for agriculture? Radically new methods electrify science Will they bring more robust plants? That would be a dream if we had such a potato variety

The new genetic engineering – revolution in agriculture Vienna – Kutschkermarkt A place where food is celebrated Colorful vegetables, hearty meat, exotic from the seas of the world Everything that feeds, shines in the most beautiful colors

No fruits of so-called genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, are found Despite the fact that their worldwide significance and distribution are growing steadily I would be interested to know if you would eat genetically modified foods No If possible: please not

Why not? Because that's suspicious of what's happening to us We have so many good foods Why do we always have to intervene? Why do we always have to change it somehow? Because I am against genetic engineering in principle Back to the origin! Because I also have a small child, I look extremely hard for organic, if possible, and for Non-GMO corn I'm more afraid of it somehow

I don’t really want to eat it Austria thinks it is GMO-free Between Vorarlberg and Burgenland there is not a single field where GMOs grow; not even for research purposes Products with genetically modified ingredients must be labeled, which makes them almost unsalable in this country On the other hand such "without genetic engineering" labels seem to promote sale

Why? Fueled by Greenpeace and other environmental organizations, the rejection of genetic engineering in food is almost national identity in Austria One of the fears is that manipulated plant heritage spreads in nature Virtually all genetically modified plants have one of two properties: Either they have been genetically engineered to be resistant to a particular weed killer Or they have been changed to produce poison against insects themselves Or they can do both

And both aspects are very critical in our view In addition, there is the – according to Greenpeace – unresolved question whether genetically modified plants harm human health Do they cause cancer? Another common claim is: they make farmers slaves of agrarian companies Do we really have to be scared? What is behind all the concerns confronting genetic engineering? And: why are there more and more farmers growing such plants? In search of answers, we embark on a journey that takes us many thousands of miles across the globe But our search for clues begins in Lower Austria

Again, there is no genetic engineering in the fields, but people who change grain with conventional breeding methods, you could also say: manipulate About 10,000 years ago, people started to lay some of the thickest seeds of wild grass into the soil, instead of eating them It was the birth of agriculture All succeeding generations have done the same; they have been breeding and thus created "heirloom varieties" Aren’t they good enough? It’s important that these old varieties are preserved

There are gene banks where they are stored And they are important genetic sources to use in breeding However, they are no longer suitable for wide cultivation because we would achieve absolutely unsatisfactory results in terms of yield and quality with them Today we need crop yields of five, six, eight tons per hectare to feed the world's population Old varieties could not carry heavy spikes because their stalks were too long and too weak

And they also had, with a modern production technology with fertilization, too many plant diseases that would not have been controllable even with intensive fungicide measures Only for about 100 years, it is possible, to intentionally cross plants, based on the discoveries of the monk Gregor Mendel In this way 45 employees of Saatzucht Donau are constantly creating new varieties, that is, new combinations of properties For example, we combine a high-yielding variety with weaknesses in disease resistance and a variety that’s not as good in terms of yield, but much more resistant to disease Then we cross these two varieties among the offspring we select and try to find out those who combine the positive qualities of both parents

That means having a good yield, but also a good resistance to disease That's very difficult because we do not just have to look at two features, it's all about a lot of properties We also have to look for winter hardiness, for stability, for adapted maturing time, for good processing quality There are new races of disease There may be new diseases

We have to adapt our varieties again and again The perfect crop will probably never exist Demands on them are constantly changing – as well as the climate and preferences of the people With methods of genetically engineering, we could accelerate the adaptation of plants What is stopping us? To find out, we travel to the northwest of Spain – more precisely to the region of Catalonia, east of the city of Girona

In 1996, US farmers planted genetically modified crops for the first time Since then, their worldwide acreage has been growing steadily Especially in North and South America, but also in Asia and some in Africa Although Europe imports such plants as feed, we do not want to see them grow in our own soil Only in Portugal and here in Spain are there a few farmers sowing genetically modified maize

Why are they doing what seems to be an environmental sin in the rest of Europe? On this spring morning, farmer Quim Danes has ordered his colleague Carlos Alemany, who’s sowing corn on his field Europe’s only genetically modified plant species currently approved for cultivation, actually comes into the ground here The seed is from Pioneer The grains carry a Monsanto-made gene construct It makes the corn resistant to its most dangerous pest

The gene comes from the soil bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis, “Bt” for short Once Bt maize grows, the foreign gene produces a protein, toxic to insects They die when they eat this corn Quim, why sow genetically modified corn in your fields? Because the production is much better The plant is healthier

The grains are healthier More kilos per acreage will come out And as a matter of fact, you need less insecticides This fact is acknowledged by Greenpeace As well that the poison is used as a pesticide in organic farming

But the plant should not produce it itself Of course, I have to use less insecticides because the plant itself produces the poison in every single cell But that's what we see very critically, because the insecticide is not just applied when there’s an actual pest infestation The entire field is toxic the whole time The plants are poisonous all the time, however, almost exclusively for those insects that could harm the corn

This is confirmed by a great meta-analysis, published in the spring of 2018 in Nature, one of the most prestigious science magazines It evaluated data collected during many thousands of individual studies across 21 years The result: so-called non-target organisms, meaning insects not feeding on corn, are not harmed by GM maize And: in addition to a higher yield of GM maize levels of carcinogenic mold toxins are lower Reason for this: If pests do not pierce the corn, fewer fungal spores can penetrate it

Strong evidence of positive environmental and health effects Soon: search for clues in Bangladesh I think that was close! How can the country satisfy hunger of the rapidly growing population? Who are the true beneficiaries of genetic engineering? Genetic engineering is on the rise worldwide What are the consequences for humans and the environment? Spain's maize farmers spray less pesticides Nevertheless, the technology remains highly controversial

Biologist Roser Sayeras works for the agricultural research institute IRTA, which has been scientifically monitoring the effects of GM maize cultivation for many years She is often annoyed by the way opponents to genetic engineering argue Organizations that are against genetic modification sometimes send very simple messages They can confuse you if you are unfamiliar with the subject You might believe them and make them your own

I believe these organizations, which have put much pressure on EU institutions, don’t know enough about what the purpose of this single genetically modified plant grown in Spain This purpose is to grow healthy plants with less pesticide However, pests can get used to the poison produced by corn and develop a resistance to it themselves To this date, it’s prevented by a simple trick: GM seed is mixed with 30 percent of conventional seed Resistances are delayed at least

But what happens if the wind carries genetically modified pollen pollinating conventional corn in other fields? Isn’t that what critics call contamination and scientists call outcrossing? Roser and her colleagues did examine just that The results of this project were, above all, that there are no more problems with outcrossing between a conventional and a genetically engineered field from a distance of 20 meters And even if it does happen, crossing out into the neighboring field would be just what the insect resistance that farmer Quim appreciates about his plants Quim cannot understand why Greenpeace doesn’t want to accept Many catastrophes have been started in this world

Greenpeace is tackling them, they are doing a good job But in this case, what we farmers do here, has not been proven to be harmful to health or the environment Quim's corn will probably be fed to pigs The companies mixing the feed only buy GM maize With it, limits for mold toxins are easier to keep

That’s what we’re told at farmer Genis Casademont’s farm and his nearly 2000 pigs On this farm pigs have been fed with genetically modified maize for 15 years and both seem to be satisfied, the farmer and the pigs We are leaving for Asia Here we want to pursue the accusation genetic engineering is mainly helping agricultural companies to impose their ideas of an industrialized agriculture all over the world Small-hold farmers of developing countries are forced into a fateful dependency, according to the thesis

But is it true? Are there other stories never making it into Europe's headlines? In search of such stories, we have come to one of the poorest countries in the world A country that’s not even twice as big as Austria, but currently needs to feed around 165 million people Bangladesh is facing huge challenges Although population growth has slowed down, the country still will have to feed another 40 million additional people by 2050 All that in addition to climate change, regular flooding, and increasing salinization of arable land making farm land shrink

The question is, how can the country continue to reduce extreme poverty and malnutrition, even though more and more people want to bite off the cake? Just in and around Dhaka crowd around 20 million people It’s one of the most densely populated patches of land worldwide Every day hundreds of people more pour into the capital Around a third of the population lives in a slum And yet the city has a higher income than the countryside, where farming plays the main role, where farmers still work like Austria's farmers used to work many decades or centuries ago

The most important crop, rice, is harvested and threshed by the men in the villages by hand Bone-hard, sweaty work For the fun of all they let the European try After all, you don’t see something like this every day We drive to the north

There, genetically modified plants are grown, which bring a higher yield and require less pesticides The problem: trying to go anywhere in Bangladesh, requires patience and hard-wearing nerves Although left-hand traffic applies, the question of who is driving on which side of the road is handled more flexibly For about 200 kilometers from Dhaka to Bogra in the northwest we will be traveling about 6-8 hours today Looking at the streets and the traffic, which is really chaotic, makes clear why it takes so long

After three hours of driving, we discover something on the side of the road that we had heard of: Farmers using the backpack sprayer to apply pesticides Barefoot, without a mask, without any protection! We stop and talk with interpreter Arif Insab and Piar are the names of the two men spraying He wants to know, dear Piar, what have you been spraying? The poison is called Nile, a leaf poison That’s what I spray

Is that to kill pests? Yes What happens if you don’t use the poison? How big would the damage be? If I don’t use the poison, my whole field will be damaged They are eggplants sprayed with the poison by Piar and Insab They count to the most important vegetables in Bangladesh Since 2013, the vegetables have also been available in a genetically modified and insect-resistant form Farmer Piar has not heard of that yet

He has to spray his plants twice a week with pesticides And yet a third of his plants fall victim to insects The next day we meet the farmer Milon Mia, who has been planting eggplants for 20 years and has been using a genetically modified variety for three years It carries the same Bacillus thuringiensis, or Bt gene, which also protects maize in Spain from pests Today many fruits have grown enough to be picked by Milon and his father Ashraf Ali

A whole basket full What the difference between the new genetically engineered variety and the old one without genetic engineering? The difference is: in the past 80 percent of the eggplant were so contaminated by the insects you couldn’t eat them They had to be thrown away Bt-eggplants can’t be penetrated by insects That's why they taste better

Milon likes to be helped with the harvest He tells us how proud he is these plants were bred in his country and what benefits they bring him The costs have fallen drastically Previously, I had to spend 25 percent of the revenue just for insecticides Since we grow the Bt-eggplant, we have less cost but more profit

In addition, they are sold very quickly on the market As soon as they arrive, they are gone Others wait until they get theirs sold We make a detour to a neighbor’s field, where conventional eggplant without insect resistance grow Almost all are withered, destroyed from inside by an eggplant fruit and shoot borer

As soon as the beetle larva has drilled into it, pesticides cannot harm it any more The neighbor has sprayed ten times and finally gave up the field anyway This nasty fruit and shoot borer has no decency whatsoever He eats through the stems and fruits And to make matters worse, he leaves behind the legacy of his digestion

Something really nobody wants to eat anymore Let's leave it there, right? Let's go! Against Milon's plants, the pest is without a chance Soon: organic farming and genetic engineering – are both things related? And: Will the new plants in Bangladesh prevail? We are in Bangladesh and want to know how genetically modified plants affect people and the environment Farmer Milon is one of about 27,000 farmers in Bangladesh who successfully cultivate genetically engineered eggplant with built-in insect resistance Since the seed is allowed to be freely re-planted and passed on, the actual number of growers is much larger

In the first year of 2013, there were just 20 farmers These are definitely the first genetically modified fruits I've ever harvested That's for sure At the end of the day we bring the harvest to the dry It was an exciting day, not just for the visit from Austria

Scientists from Bangladesh's public agricultural research institute also participated in the development of the vegetables The biotechnology department's chief scientific officer, Dilafroza Khanam, explains why the poison produced by GM crops is harmless to humans The protein produced by Cry1Ac gene is toxic only in an alkaline stomach In addition, we humans have no receptors for this substance, but the plant pest has it Therefore, the insect dies as soon as it eats from the plant

Who are the biggest beneficiaries of these plants? Farmers benefit because they don’t need pesticides to fight the insect And I think our farmers are very happy with it The gene construct responsible for insect resistance has come from from the Indian seed company Mahyco, a partner of the former Monsanto company Scientists from the US University of Cornell and the Agricultural Research Institute have crossed it into four local varieties There are no patent fees to pay

These is the eggplant seed with built-in insect resistance It’s bred here at the Agricultural Research Institute and later distributed free of charge to the small farmers Early next morning, farmer Milon's father Ashraf Ali carries the freshly harvested eggplants to the nearby market Common eggplants are sprayed by the farmers up to 80 or even 100 times against the eggplant fruit and shoot borer Milon only had to spray his plants twice against the white fly

In a jiffy, a buyer is found I would be happy if there was such a technique as in the Bt-eggplant in every vegetable During the training in the research institute, we expressed the wish that something like that would be put into pumpkin or bitter melon Could Bangladesh's shrinking farmland be used more efficiently with the help of genetic engineering? To feed the growing number of people better and healthier? In any case, the government is planning to introduce a disease-resistant potato variety Other plants such as vitamin A rice, cotton and pulses are being worked on

I know that it will be of great benefit to me, our country and our people to grow these genetically modified crops We are a very densely populated country, there are so many diseases, insect pests and other natural hazards With genetic engineering we can improve plants in many areas; say drought resistance, salinity resistance, insect resistance or disease resistance It will save our crops because our country is vulnerable to many natural disasters It will protect our fruits in many areas

So for you, genetic engineering means hope and not fear, right? Oh yeah! I am hopeful, not afraid! Certainly hopeful Jahangir Hossain dedicated his research career to improving agriculture in his homeland Today, he is the representative of Feed the Future, an initiative of the US government to fight hunger Around 70 percent of the population work directly or indirectly in agriculture It’s the backbone of our economy

So that's a very important sector The development of agriculture means the development of the whole country! Bangladesh is characterized by small-hold farmers Tens of millions of people, like Abdel here, live on what they can earn with the power of their own hands, sometimes in tiny fields It may be fascinating to watch for us For Bangladeshis that brings little romantic with it

For them it means hard work and a modest life Not just because of this, the government wants to modernize agriculture and in doing so relies on biotechnological tools, including genetic engineering With this story and their impressive pictures in mind, we travel back The thesis of genetic engineering being solely for the benefit of corporations, has not been confirmed in Bangladesh Here it is small-scale farmers who benefit from the new varieties

Back in Austria All sorts of horror stories about genetic engineering can be found on the internet Six years ago, one of them went around the globe In 2012, molecular biologist Gilles-Eric Seralini presented a study apparently proving rats getting cancer when fed with GM maize NK603 The variety is tolerant to the weed killer glyphosate

Such built-in herbicide resistance can lead to this one weed killer increasingly being used As a result, the weed can also become resistant Seralini's study was only concerned with possible health hazards caused by the genetic modification In the eyes of his critics, Seralini's study was more than flawed One of the reasons is that the rat strain he used, after 2 years tends to develop a tumor anyway, no matter what the animals eat

On the other hand, he had used far too few animals for the results to be of high significance, which Seralini himself admitted After all: the whole thing was one reason why the EU Commission launched a new, larger and financially better equipped research project The associated feeding studies were conducted here in the Slovak capital of Bratislava At the same location, scientists met in April this year to discuss the results The G-TWYST project repeated Seralini's two-year rat feeding study

This time under internationally recognized rules – publicly funded by the EU Could his dubious results be confirmed? As you can see today, the results are very clear: Under the conditions we have used here in the G-Twyst project, there is no danger from genetically modified corn NK603 Seralini's rat study is refuted However, neither the conference in Bratislava nor the results of the study made any headlines For non-professionals it’s very difficult to make a judgment on this flood of information that pounce on him

Let me remind you of these pictures with these huge breast tumors in the rats In consumer’s minds his creates an effect, which we can hardly change Not even with the best scientific studies It’s also hardly known that there’s some sort of consensus on genetic engineering within science According to it not all we could use this technology for would automatically be a good idea

But it’s considered proven that genetically modified plants in general pose no greater risk than traditionally bred Numerous science academies and other renowned institutions around the world come to this conclusion Greenpeace contradicts There is no scientific consensus on whether genetically modified plants are unhealthy or not This is simply because there are no long-term studies

That means there is currently no indication from the perspective of Greenpeace that they may be unhealthy? There are studies in both directions In our view, there is no consensus about it In 2016, scientists sent a public letter to Greenpeace By now it is signed by more than 130 Nobel Laureates World-class physicians, physicists and chemists

In the letter, they call on Greenpeace to stop campaigning against genetic engineering In the face of global challenges, they ask: How many more poverty-stricken people in the world will have to die before we recognize this as 'crimes against humanity'? The appeal of the Nobel Prize winners also was more or less unheard by global media How is it that Greenpeace fights so violently against the genetic engineering? Presumably for the first time a shipment of genetically modified soybeans has arrived in Germany A freighter brought it from the US to Hamburg November 1996 marks a turning point

Greenpeace rubber rafts received the first ship with so-called gene soy in Hamburg The pictures went around the world Greenpeace thus demonstrated the campaign suitability of an anti-GM policy Until then, it had been far from clear that the environmentalists would be against genetic engineering This is what Ludger Wess tells, a former Greenpeace freelancer and expert for genetic engineering

Greenpeace was quite open-minded at the beginning of genetic engineering in agriculture Because it has been said: If it’s true that genetic engineering can make plants resistant to pests, then that's a great thing because it saves insecticides So, we are in favor of it Only later they adopted a strictly negative approach Wess had his personal key experience in 1998

On behalf of Greenpeace, he attended a science conference on Bt-GM maize in the USA I came back armed with a suitcase full of papers and had many conversations with government officials and scientists And they all were able to refute my fears I was no longer convinced that there was a risk to human health And then I said: we cannot uphold this claim that genetic engineering is harmful to health, that's just not true

And then I was told: We still claim it And we continue to argue that because only if people are worried about their health and the health of their children, they donate money Wess was disappointed with the reaction and left Greenpeace His former superior called Wess allegations as slander He did not want to express himself in front of the camera

Could it really be that an environmental protection group sticks with goals firstly guided by their public impact and secondarily on concerns of the environment? The question is probably not clear to answer However, it’s clear that many agricultural and sustainability experts disagree with the environmentalists A unbelievable thesis is represented by a research couple from the University of California in Davis Raoul Adamchak heads the trial garden for organic farming His wife Pamela Ronald improves crops by genetic engineering

In their book, that’s just been reissued, they are calling for a combination of both Organic farming is a very exciting movement It has been very important I think for reminding people, reminding consumers of the importance of farming and importance of fostering soil fertility And there are many crops where the yields are similar to conventional crops But there are many crops, including our stable food crops, where the yields are much less

And the reason is, that organic farmers have the same challenges as other farmers, but they have fewer tools to combat those challenges Pamela Ronald and her husband are therefore convinced that organic farming in particular should use the genetic engineering tool And that's because of the findings of science Science is not a believe system You don’t want to believe a single scientist

You really want to look at the conclusions of thousands of independent scientists around the world Every major global scientific organization has concluded that the process of genetically engineering crops is no more risky than older methods of genetic modification Greenpeace is not a scientific organization It is a political organization We are at Waldviertel in Lower Austria, near the small village Rothfarn

Most farmers here have switched to organic agriculture Wilhelm Schwarzinger is an organic farmer since 2002 He pays particular attention to the health of his soil and balanced crop rotations Every few years his field rests under a green blanket of clover grass, which gives the soil natural fertilizer One could say Schwarzinger works with nature

But nature doesn’t always work with him! There are virus diseases, there is the pest, the Colorado beetle and right now it’s the Phytophthora, late blight, as seen here It starts on the leaves, this is the fungal turf that damages the leaf, and then it goes into the stem and finally into the tuber Here you can see it very well, where the late blight is already massive and violent And here, for example a branch that is massively affected by late blight It always starts at single spots and spreads on the whole field in no time

And that leads to what? It leads to a 100% yield loss The causative agent of late blight, a fungus, threatens potatoes all over the world It’s the subject of research by numerous scientists – also at the Dutch University of Wageningen So, this is what Phytophthora does to the tubers First it destroys the leaves, the foliage in the field

And after that the spores are washed down to the tubers and infect the tubers And this is the end result If organic farmer Wilhelm Schwarzinger wants to harvest healthy potatoes in the fall, he has only one choice left Despite healthy crop rotation and organic fertilizer: In organic farming, the harvest of potatoes, grapes, fruits and vegetables depends on pesticides, too When I became an organic farmer, I always said that I would not spray anything

I sold my field sprayer right away, because I thought it’s organic without a sprayer Meanwhile, I have bought a spryer again because I have seen: even in organic farming it’s not working without a sprayer Fungus pressure is high in humid weather after rainfall And then it takes a bit, I do not want to say chemistry Copper is a trace element and I use it as protection against late blight disease

Synthetic-chemical pesticides are not allowed in organic farming But those that are considered "natural" according to organic guidelines This includes the heavy metal copper, which, in very small quantities, is important for living things But it is also "very toxic" for earthworms and aquatic organisms The far greater problem for organic farmer Schwarzinger: Despite the spraying his yields are significantly lower than yields of conventional farms

The yield in organic farming is generally lower than that of conventional farmers, although as an organic farmer the aim is to achieve a regular, secure yield But it’s not always possible Having a disease-immune and therefore higher-yielding strain would be the farmer's dream In a research institute in the Netherlands, this dream is already reality There is a late blight resistant GM potato here

Plant researcher Anton Haverkort shows the difference in each of the unsprayed versions of the variety "Desiree" This for instance is a plot of Desiree Six plants of desiree variety completely dead Here we have desiree that is supplied with a single gene from solanum chacoense, that’s a Mexican species One single gene was given

And you can see: there is just a little, little bit of infection Here over this side we have the same Desiree that was supplied with two wild genes of wild species from Mexico And here we do not find any single spot of late blight Late blight-free plants without pesticides, protected by the genes of their wild relatives, bred by genetic engineering Why don’t we use them in Austria to combine the benefits of organic farming, such as its positive impact on biodiversity, with better yields? To use shrinking farmland more efficiently, scientists ask

The battle lines are still hardened; the resistant genetic engineering potatoes banned from Europe's fields Organic farmer Schwarzinger sees it pragmatically If the genes do not come from other species, but from potatoes, from ancient varieties that are resistant to it, that would be a possible option Crops defending themselves against pests, providing high yields even in a changing climate, under drought, salinity or nutrient deficiencies – that's what farmers around the world want No matter if they are organic or conventional

In the search for it, breeders have been using radioactive radiation or chemical substances to trigger random, uncontrolled mutations in plants for half a century They continue to breed those with positive traits The process is called mutagenesis and is an enormous invasion of genetic material Nevertheless, the method is exempted from strict testing and labeling regulations Radiation-bred varieties are even found in organic food stores The differences between traditional breeding and genetic engineering blurs more and more

Scientists and plant breeders around the world are working with a whole range of revolutionary new tools They re-order genetic material as precisely and efficiently as a text software exchanges character Everything else seems almost like a sledgehammer approach However, there is a dispute between scientists, NGOs and politicians, whether these new "Genome Editing" breeding techniques, should legally be considered "genetic engineering" Should their products be labelled? On July 25, the European Court of Justice gives a perhaps groundbreaking verdict

It could trigger a small revolution in agriculture The most promising of the new methods is the so-called CRISPR / Cas9 molecular scissors With its help, individual properties of plants can be changed as precisely as never before The molecular scissors do it, without having to incorporate genes of alien creatures, as classical genetic engineering usually had to Plants are created that, according to science, are no different from normal crossbreeds

Is that still genetic engineering? Breeder Johann Birschitzky does not want to leave CRISPR alone to large agricultural corporations He prefers to work with it himself The biggest advantage is getting faster Breeding is a very slow process It takes 10 years to get new varieties

It can take 15 to 20 years to bring in resistance from wild varieties, and CRISPR/Cas, which can purposefully change individual characteristics, can make these steps much faster and more targeted If it’s up to Greenpeace, the molecular scissors should not be a tool for Austria's breeders and be subjected to the strict rules for genetic engineering It is not a natural crossbreed, but a genetic engineering process has been used For us, once again, this is a genetically modified organism by definition Greenpeace’s attitude is met with a lack of understanding by scientists of the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences in Vienna

Opposing Genome Editing while at the same time tolerating random products of breeding with radioactivity, makes no sense to them It saddens me sometimes, that blind coincidence obviously is considered as less risky than a scientist doing something precisely on purpose Eva Stöger and her research group use CRISPR as well as classical genetic engineering Young scientist Jennifer Schwestka is searching for ways to make plants produce vaccines That genetic engineering should not also be used to improve crops makes no sense to her

She considers “GMO-free” labels as pure advertising I feel that the word “gene” scares people because it’s associated with mutations and diseases like cancer I think it's a good marketing strategy now I feel that the word “gene” scares people because it’s associated with mutations and diseases like cancer I think it's a good marketing strategy now

These labels are deliberately made with the phrase "without gene" in capitals and the word "technology" written in small letters I think that's done to influence consumers What should we do with genetic engineering in agriculture? Their global acreage is growing, but many countries remain skeptical Do we need the tools to feed the growing world population without turning more wildland into farmland? Or will it be enough to reduce the consumption of meat and the waste of food? And what role will environmental protection groups play in forming opinions? They should not deny science and they should not deny modern methods And they should not put one against the other

The question is not organic or conventional, but the thing is, I believe, simply modern agriculture, which uses just what’s proven to be good for productivity, for yields and also good for the environment CRISPR and other new breeding methods open up total new opportunities for precise genetic modification If they are – like classical genetic engineering – largely banned in Europe, many things will remain the same If not, we may be close to a turn in genetic engineering and a revolution in agriculture

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