Chat with us, powered by LiveChat The discussion entry is your personal reflection of your p | WriteDen

The discussion entry is your personal reflection of your p

The discussion entry is your personal reflection of your personal thoughts on the podcast "Keeping it Fresh…". There is no right answer.

What constitutes a "thoughtful" discussion entry? What are some examples of what you might address in your discussion?

Remember that the more connections you make between yourself, society, and the topic of the podcasts.  

A minimum of 200 words per discussion entry is required. Upon submission, you will see other classmates' posts.

15

1 Savior or Monster?

The Truth about Genetically Engineered Agriculture

Margaret Mellon

I first became aware of biotechnology early in the 1980s, when the field was in its infancy. Biotechnology arrived in Washington, D.C., on a wave of enthusiasm backed by the U.S. government, big corporations, and the scientific community. All of these entities had direct interests in the success of biotechnology: profits and influence for industry; global trade and eco- nomic clout for government; and grants and prestige for scientists. Citizens, too, were interested in the technology, not only in its potential benefits but also in its impacts on the environment and human health. But in those early days the optimism was high and the criticism was muted. During the last thirty years much of that initial euphoria surrounding biotechnology has waned. In particular, North Americans and Europeans are in the midst of a heated debate between the concentrated power of the direct stakeholders in the adoption of biotechnology, and a more diffuse set of stakeholders who are affected by the technology and who want a say in how it is used, or whether it should be used at all. Most of this debate over biotechnology is to be found in the domain of food, and the use of genetically engineered crops in particular.

Agricultural Genetic Engineering

Biotechnology is a broad term that can be applied to virtually any practical use of any living organism. Most uses—beer-brewing, beekeeping, and so on—are not controversial and many do not involve genetic modification of individual organisms. In this chapter, I will focus on techniques that are controversial because they involve modification of traits that can be passed onto subsequent generations and employ sophisticated molecular-level

Co py ri gh t © 2 01 9. T he U ni ve rs it y of N or th C ar ol in a Pr es s. A ll r ig ht s re se rv ed . Ma y no t be r ep ro du ce d in a ny f or m wi th ou t pe rm is si on f ro m th e pu bl is he r, e xc ep t fa ir u se s

pe rm it te d un de r U. S. o r ap pl ic ab le c op yr ig ht l aw .

EBSCO Publishing : eBook Collection (EBSCOhost) – printed on 5/1/2020 2:44 PM via HONG KONG POLYTECHNIC UNIV AN: 2240985 ; Ludington, Charles, Booker, Matthew Morse.; Food Fights : How History Matters to Contemporary Food Debates Account: s3890005

16 Margaret Mellon

techniques to achieve modifications. Such techniques are referred to inter- changeably as genetic engineering (GE) or genetic modification (GM). I prefer the term “genetic engineering” because it is narrower than “genetic modification” and more clearly excludes classical breeding and other time- tested methods of modifying organisms. Genetically engineered organ- isms that harbor combinations of traits that cannot be produced in nature are also sometimes referred to as transgenic. Genetic engineering can be applied to any organism—from a bacterium to a human—and the earliest commercial applications of genetic engineering, microorganisms modi- fied to produce human pharmaceuticals, were not very controversial. How- ever, this chapter will focus on genetic engineering of agricultural crops, a topic that has been, and for the foreseeable future will remain, hugely controversial.

My Introduction to Biotechnology

I was first introduced to biotechnology in the mid-1980s while working on the problem of environmental toxins at the Environmental Law Institute. Few in the environmental community could escape the excitement of the new technology that promised to transform industrial agriculture from a frequently toxic into an environmentally benign activity. As a scientist, I was naturally curious about the technology and predisposed to welcome it. Because of my background in molecular biology, many colleagues came to me with questions about it. I attended lectures and workshops on the issue and was invited by Monsanto to visit its headquarters in St. Louis, where I toured labs and greenhouses and heard the company lay out its vision for the new technology.

And a breathtaking vision it was: an agriculture that was no longer dependent on herbicides or insecticides; crops that could fix nitrogen and no longer need chemical fertilizer; crops that were innately high yielding; crops that could tolerate drought or cold; foods that could prevent disease; and agriculture so productive it would end world hunger. I heard the siren call. Without knowing much about agriculture, I expected that the technol- ogy would work, albeit with some unexpected or downside effects. I believed that regulation would help unearth and avoid such effects and was essential if the technology was to achieve its promise. I was not naive. I understood that regulation would not emerge without strong advocacy, but still I assumed that the technology would bring about big and benign changes. I decided to become a scientist-advocate in this field.

Co py ri gh t © 2 01 9. T he U ni ve rs it y of N or th C ar ol in a Pr es s. A ll r ig ht s re se rv ed . Ma y no t be r ep ro du ce d in a ny f or m wi th ou t pe rm is si on f ro m th e pu bl is he r, e xc ep t fa ir u se s

pe rm it te d un de r U. S. o r ap pl ic ab le c op yr ig ht l aw .

EBSCO Publishing : eBook Collection (EBSCOhost) – printed on 5/1/2020 2:44 PM via HONG KONG POLYTECHNIC UNIV AN: 2240985 ; Ludington, Charles, Booker, Matthew Morse.; Food Fights : How History Matters to Contemporary Food Debates Account: s3890005

The Truth about Genetically Engineered Agriculture 17

National Wildlife Federation

In 1992, I founded the National Biotechnology Policy Center at the National Wildlife Federation, an organization steeped in the mission of environmental conservation and protection, and committed to citizen activists as agents of change and government regulation as a way of facilitating input into import- ant decisions. As I went into this work, I understood that industry, science, and citizens had different, but vital, roles to play in policy contests. I firmly rejected the idea that any players in this pageant were evil. My side and your side, for sure—but not villains and heroes.

At the policy center at the National Wildlife Federation, we accepted GE technology, regarding it as neither immoral nor uniquely dangerous. At the same time, we also rejected assertions that GE was inherently safe or necessarily better than alternatives. We felt free to accept some applications (drugs) while passing on others (many crops). We evaluated applications on three factors—risks, benefits, and the availability of alternatives. This position put the National Wildlife Federation in the middle of the advocacy spectrum—neither cheerleader nor adamantly opposed. Unlike those at the polar extremes, our middle position required data intensive evaluations of benefits, risks, and alternatives.

Benefits assessments quickly became the most challenging parts of our analyses. We came to understand that benefits depend on one’s vision of agriculture. Herbicide-resistant crops, for example, were said to be benefi- cial because they encouraged farmers to use glyphosate, an herbicide less toxic than the more commonly used atrazine. To those who accepted that U.S. agriculture would continue to be structurally dependent on chemical pesticides, the replacement of one herbicide by a less toxic one counted as a benefit. However, because our goal was the minimization of chemi- cal herbicides by using methods like cover crops and conservation tillage to control weeds, we believed that the substitution of one herbicides for another, without a commitment to overall herbicide use reduction, was not beneficial.

From my days as a lawyer, I was familiar with corporate influence and resources and understood that many public policy debates played out on an unequal field. But I was stunned by the clout that the preeminent biotech- nology company, Monsanto, brought to the biotechnology debate. In order to promote its interests, Monsanto mounted major museum exhibitions, sponsored scholarships and fellowships at research universities, funded an entire wing at the Missouri Botanical Gardens, and more. It influenced

Co py ri gh t © 2 01 9. T he U ni ve rs it y of N or th C ar ol in a Pr es s. A ll r ig ht s re se rv ed . Ma y no t be r ep ro du ce d in a ny f or m wi th ou t pe rm is si on f ro m th e pu bl is he r, e xc ep t fa ir u se s

pe rm it te d un de r U. S. o r ap pl ic ab le c op yr ig ht l aw .

EBSCO Publishing : eBook Collection (EBSCOhost) – printed on 5/1/2020 2:44 PM via HONG KONG POLYTECHNIC UNIV AN: 2240985 ; Ludington, Charles, Booker, Matthew Morse.; Food Fights : How History Matters to Contemporary Food Debates Account: s3890005

18 Margaret Mellon

domestic and international regulatory and political arenas, sometimes in dis- arming ways, and sometimes more aggressively. Despite its power, or perhaps because of it, Monsanto eventually lost the debate for the hearts and minds of consumers and others outside of mainstream agriculture, science, or gov- ernment. In a 2015 Harris Poll of corporate reputations,1 Monsanto ranked 97 out of 100 corporations. Recently, Monsanto admitted its problems2,3 and initiated efforts to spruce up its image, including new approaches to social media.4

Union of Concerned Scientists

In 1993 I took a job at Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), where I founded a program focused on agriculture rather than biotechnology. Because of the issues UCS took on, it was important for advocates at UCS to maintain scientific credibility. In that regard I was pleased to be named a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 1994 and a Distinguished Alumnae of Purdue University in 1993, which established my scientific bona fides. My experience at UCS taught me about the role of science in big societal debates. UCS’s signature issue was nuclear power plant safety. Questions on how to build and run a plant or what safety mea- sures might work are purely scientific questions, the necessary bedrock of the debate. But the debate was about more than science. Questions of how much risk to take in exchange for the benefits of nuclear power, or whether nuclear power is preferable to coal or wind power, cannot be answered by science alone. They require societal judgments on which reasonable people can and do disagree. Both sides in the nuclear power debate make arguments based on science. But, a favorable view of nuclear power does not make one pro-science; nor do concerns about the safety of nuclear power make one anti-science.

In contrast, the biotechnology debate I became involved in at UCS has been cast as a debate between science and anti-science. Critics of genetically engineered crops are labeled Luddites and arguments against the technology are called emotional and sidelined as illegitimate. But the genetic engineering debate involves economic, health, and safety issues that are rife with societal judgments. Societal questions of how much risk is appropriate for the supposed benefits of the technology, for example, involve far more than scientific considerations. Not surprisingly, simplif y- ing and polarizing the genetic engineering debate in this way has seriously distorted it.

Co py ri gh t © 2 01 9. T he U ni ve rs it y of N or th C ar ol in a Pr es s. A ll r ig ht s re se rv ed . Ma y no t be r ep ro du ce d in a ny f or m wi th ou t pe rm is si on f ro m th e pu bl is he r, e xc ep t fa ir u se s

pe rm it te d un de r U. S. o r ap pl ic ab le c op yr ig ht l aw .

EBSCO Publishing : eBook Collection (EBSCOhost) – printed on 5/1/2020 2:44 PM via HONG KONG POLYTECHNIC UNIV AN: 2240985 ; Ludington, Charles, Booker, Matthew Morse.; Food Fights : How History Matters to Contemporary Food Debates Account: s3890005

The Truth about Genetically Engineered Agriculture 19

One reason the genetic engineering debate is so intensely contentious is that it sits at the juncture of many overlapping issues: food safety; environ- mental safety; control of the food system; international trade; wariness of technology; deep-seated mistrust of government; and animal welfare. Sci- ence can be a component of all of these issues, and getting the science right is crucial to productive debates. But science per se does not have a position on environmental safety or control of the food system. Like nuclear power plant safety, the safety and appropriate use of GE crops raise societal issues on which reasonable people can and do disagree.

Tensions of Science Advocac y

Scientific advocacy organizations like the National Wildlife Federation and the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) seek to change the world for the better, often through the legislative process. At NWF and UCS scientists work closely with lobbyists and media experts to carry out legislative campaigns. In so doing, they need to communicate with and motivate citizens who have much else to think about. One of the best ways to mobilizing citizens is with short, compelling messages. Such messages are often stylistically incompatible with the highly qualified language of science, which values precision and abhors overstatement. Crafting such messages—for action alerts, for example—routinely leads to lively dis- cussions between scientists and media professionals in advocacy organi- zations. In the genetic engineering debate, some opponents of genetically engineered foods have mobilized supporters with scary images like skulls and crossbones, scarecrows, or evocative terms like “Frankenfood.”

While I worked closely with the media professionals in my organiza- tions to craft strong messages, I drew a line well short of using the term “Frankenfood” or Halloween imagery in communications with the public. I believed these images conveyed a degree of risk not warranted by the early products of the technology and that they preclude the practical and the fact- based debate we need about the impact of the technology in food and agri- culture. However, I soon found that critics of genetically engineered crops are not the only ones to use short, evocative—and misleading—messages in these debates. Proponents do the same. The most egregious example is the campaign to convince the public that genetic engineering is necessary to “feed the world,” a message delivered with images of smiling farmers from developing countries. The implication is that use of genetic engineering in the United States and elsewhere is essential to meeting the challenges of

Co py ri gh t © 2 01 9. T he U ni ve rs it y of N or th C ar ol in a Pr es s. A ll r ig ht s re se rv ed . Ma y no t be r ep ro du ce d in a ny f or m wi th ou t pe rm is si on f ro m th e pu bl is he r, e xc ep t fa ir u se s

pe rm it te d un de r U. S. o r ap pl ic ab le c op yr ig ht l aw .

EBSCO Publishing : eBook Collection (EBSCOhost) – printed on 5/1/2020 2:44 PM via HONG KONG POLYTECHNIC UNIV AN: 2240985 ; Ludington, Charles, Booker, Matthew Morse.; Food Fights : How History Matters to Contemporary Food Debates Account: s3890005

20 Margaret Mellon

world hunger and that critics of genetic engineering are impeding the only solution to the problem. But scientists understand that the root causes of world hunger are complex and, for the most part, grow out of poverty, not out of challenges in agricultural productivity.5 To suggest that genetic engi- neering by itself is the magic solution to world hunger is just as misleading as suggesting that it is inherently scary. On both ends of the spectrum, these communications strategies are a major challenge to nuanced, scientifically sound debate.

Looking at Benefits and Alternatives

The policy thrust of my early advocacy focused on the risks of products of genetic engineering and the need for government regulation to control those risks. The scientific analyses I and my collaborators produced in my early career, assessed the ecological risks of genetically engineered crops;6,7 the threats to the efficacy of Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt)—a biological pesticide— posed by resistance;8 gene flow of GE traits within agricultural crops,9 and the uncontrolled movement of pharmaceutical traits in cultivated and wild environments.10

By the earlier 2000s, biotechnology ’s most popular crops had a track record that could be evaluated both against a sustainable vision of agri- culture and the grand early promises of the proponents. In 2009 and 2011 my talented friend and colleague Doug Gurian-Sherman produced land- mark studies asking what GE technology had accomplished in three key areas—yield,11 nitrogen use efficiency,12 and drought tolerance13—all of which were among the dramatic improvements promised by genetically engineered crops. In each study, Dr. Gurian-Sherman assessed the per- formance of alternatives to genetic engineering like classical breeding, agroecology, and an enhanced version of classical breeding called marker- assisted breeding. Gurian- Sherman’s careful analyses of the benefits of GE crops led to a big surprise.

Despite wide adoption and commercial success, overall biotechnol- ogy has a disappointing track record. As an agricultural technology, it had not achieved even a modicum of what it had promised. Beyond that, Gurian- Sherman’s analyses showed that in the very areas where biotech- nology had stumbled, classical breeding and agroecology had succeeded. For me, as well as for many other scientists in the field, Doug’s work was

Co py ri gh t © 2 01 9. T he U ni ve rs it y of N or th C ar ol in a Pr es s. A ll r ig ht s re se rv ed . Ma y no t be r ep ro du ce d in a ny f or m wi th ou t pe rm is si on f ro m th e pu bl is he r, e xc ep t fa ir u se s

pe rm it te d un de r U. S. o r ap pl ic ab le c op yr ig ht l aw .

EBSCO Publishing : eBook Collection (EBSCOhost) – printed on 5/1/2020 2:44 PM via HONG KONG POLYTECHNIC UNIV AN: 2240985 ; Ludington, Charles, Booker, Matthew Morse.; Food Fights : How History Matters to Contemporary Food Debates Account: s3890005

The Truth about Genetically Engineered Agriculture 21

an eye-opener that prompted many questions. As an early enthusiast for the promises of genetically engineered crops, I had to face the reality of its disappointing performance. So, in midcareer, I refocused my interests on the articulation of alternative, more sustainable visions for agriculture and strategies for achieving them (e.g., in the 2013 Vision Statement of the Union of Concerned Scientists).14 And it is to that subject which I will now turn.

Chemical -Free Agriculture?

Let’s start with perhaps the biggest promise of all: genetic engineering will allow us to achieve chemical free agriculture. Has this been achieved? Not even close, although there have been a few bright spots. There are no GE nitrogen-fixing crops,15 and while the herbicide-resistant crops reduced her- bicide use initially, the trend is now heading in exactly the opposite direction because weeds, like all organisms, can adapt to stress.

Among herbicide resistant crops, Roundup Ready ™ crops are the com- mercial stars in the biotechnology pantheon. Companies have introduced commercially successful varieties of most of the important commodity crops: soybeans, corn, cotton, alfalfa, and canola. These crops were widely adopted because—at the beginning—they saved time and reduced costs, especially on large industrial farms. As a result, one herbicide—glyphosate—has been used on tens of millions of acres of American farmland, year after year. Pre- dictably, such intensive use encouraged the growth of weeds able to with- stand glyphosate, and soon such weeds began to show up in fields all over farm country.16 Farmers responded by using more and more glyphosate and adding other chemical herbicides to the mix. Thus, the early dip in herbicide use was soon reversed and herbicide use skyrocketed. Over its first sixteen years, the evolution of resistant weeds led to a 527-million-pound increase in herbicide use in the United States.17 Because farmers continue to plant the GE crops, and resistant weeds continue to emerge, herbicide use is still rising.

The industry’s response has been to engineer resistance to additional herbicides, 2,4-D and dicamba, into crops, so those chemicals can be applied along with glyphosate.18 In sum, widespread use of herbicide-resistant crops, by far the dominant application of agricultural biotechnology, has lead to an unfolding environmental and agronomic disaster: more and worse weeds, higher farm costs, exploding use of herbicides, and the evolution of multi-herbicide-resistant weeds.19 These concerns are heightened by the International Agency for Research on Cancer’s recent determination that

Co py ri gh t © 2 01 9. T he U ni ve rs it y of N or th C ar ol in a Pr es s. A ll r ig ht s re se rv ed . Ma y no t be r ep ro du ce d in a ny f or m wi th ou t pe rm is si on f ro m th e pu bl is he r, e xc ep t fa ir u se s

pe rm it te d un de r U. S. o r ap pl ic ab le c op yr ig ht l aw .

EBSCO Publishing : eBook Collection (EBSCOhost) – printed on 5/1/2020 2:44 PM via HONG KONG POLYTECHNIC UNIV AN: 2240985 ; Ludington, Charles, Booker, Matthew Morse.; Food Fights : How History Matters to Contemporary Food Debates Account: s3890005

22 Margaret Mellon

glyphosate is a probable human carcinogen20 and that 2,4-D, whose use will increase with the next generation of herbicide-resistant corn and soybeans, is a possible carcinogen.21

The second major application of genetic engineering has been crops modified to produce their own insecticidal toxins.22 The toxins were origi- nally found in soil microbes called Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt). The family of Bt toxins contains slightly different molecules that kill different classes of insect pests. Like herbicide-tolerance traits, Bt toxins have been engineered into a variety of crops, most importantly corn and cotton. Over the first sixteen years of the biotechnology era, insecticide use in this country was reduced by 123 million pounds.23 Although the decline was offset by the dramatic rise in herbicide use, the environmental benefits of lower external insecticide use in Bt crops have been impressive.24 And until recently the emergence of Bt resistance was held at bay. One big reason for this success has been the implementation of sophisticated refuge strategies developed by entomologists to delay resistance.

But trouble is brewing in Bt crop fields. Farmers did not heed entomol- ogists’ advice on a major pest of corn—the Western corn rootworm—and now fields are teeming with these rootworms despite being planted with Bt corn varieties.25 Belatedly, the Environmental Protection Agency has developed plan for companies and farmers to manage resistance in the root- worm,26 but it may be too late. In addition, the introduction of Bt crops has coincided with the increased use of other insecticides in corn systems, most ominously the neonicotinoids or “neonics.” These chemicals, first introduced in the early 1990s, are now the most widely used insecticides on earth. Neon- ics are highly toxic to insects, including honeybees and other pollinators at very low doses, and their nearly ubiquitous use is a suspected cause of the decline of bee colonies around the world.

The rise in neonic use was missed initially because the pesticides were sold as seed coatings and as such were not counted by the government in sur- veys of pesticide use. While not a direct result of GE technology, the demand for neonics certainly belies the promise that biotech crops would usher in an era of chemical-free agriculture. In sum, while deserving credit for substantial reductions in insecticide use in corn and cotton, Bt crops have not staved off ever-increasing use chemical insecticides in those crops. Instead, fields full of genetically engineered crops are saturated with chemical poisons.27,28

Having said that, genetic engineering has had success with crops engi- neered to be resistant to viruses, but the total acreage of virus-resistant crops is tiny in comparison to herbicide-resistant and Bt crops. A virus-resistant

Co py ri gh t © 2 01 9. T he U ni ve rs it y of N or th C ar ol in a Pr es s. A ll r ig ht s re se rv ed . Ma y no t be r ep ro du ce d in a ny f or m wi th ou t pe rm is si on f ro m th e pu bl is he r, e xc ep t fa ir u se s

pe rm it te d un de r U. S. o r ap pl ic ab le c op yr ig ht l aw .

EBSCO Publishing : eBook Collection (EBSCOhost) – printed on 5/1/2020 2:44 PM via HONG KONG POLYTECHNIC UNIV AN: 2240985 ; Ludington, Charles, Booker, Matthew Morse.; Food Fights : How History Matters to Contemporary Food Debates Account: s3890005

The Truth about Genetically Engineered Agriculture 23

variety of papaya has been widely adopted by Hawaiian papaya growers and continues to account for 70% of the Hawaiian papaya crop.29 Varieties of virus-resistant squash have also been approved for sale in the United States, although there are no mechanisms for determining how much of the seed has been sold.

What then can be said about the dream of chemical free agriculture that was envisioned by proponents of genetically engineered crops some thirty years ago? Despite a few bright spots, large-scale adoption of GE crops has led to dramatic increases in pesticide use that are likely to continue to increase in the future. Put another way, however hopeful our dreams may have been, GE in practice has turned out to be a chemical and environmental nightmare.

High-Yielding Crops

Another claim made in the salad days of biotech agriculture was that genet- ically engineered crops would produce much higher yields. In fact, that has not been the case. But first it’s important to understand that crop yields are of two types. The first type of yield refers to performance in the presence of pests or stress. Herbicides and insecticides increase yields when weeds or insects are present, but have little effect when pests are absent; those are called operational yields. The second, more fundamental kind of yield is innate or potential yield, the yield possible under the ideal conditions—with no pests, no stress, adequate nutrients, and benign climate. Innate yields represent the upper limit on agricultural productivity, and increasing them is essential to keeping pace with increasing human populations.

Classical breeding is the stellar technology in this realm. It is responsi- ble for virtually all the increases in innate yield in crops since the dawn of agriculture. Dramatic examples of the power of classical breeding are the shorter, sturdier versions of wheat and corn yields that were the backbone of the Green Revolution.30 Less dramatic, but no less important, are the steady, ongoing 1–2% a year annual increases in U.S. corn yield that are attributable to classical breeding and agronomic practices. By contrast, as of 2015, there is only one new GE crop pending in the commercial pipeline that claims to increase the innate yield of a crop. This dismal performance on innate yields is often missed because of confusion with increases in operational yields— yields measured in the presence of pests—that have been produced by Bt crops.31 Nevertheless, GE’s failure to produce crops with increased innate yields severely undercuts the claim that GE is essential for fundamentally improving agriculture.

Co py ri gh t © 2 01 9. T he U ni ve rs it y of N or th C ar ol in a Pr es s. A ll r ig ht s re se rv ed . Ma y no t be r ep ro du ce d in a ny f or m wi th ou t pe rm is si on f ro m th e pu bl is he r, e xc ep t fa ir u se s

pe rm it te d un de r U. S. o r ap pl ic ab le c op yr ig ht l aw .

EBSCO Publishing : eBook Collection (EBSCOhost) – printed on 5/1/2020 2:44 PM via HONG KONG POLYTECHNIC UNIV AN: 2240985 ; Ludington, Charles, Booker, Matthew Morse.; Food Fights : How History Matters to Contemporary Food Debates Account: s3890005

24 Margaret Mellon

In a similar vein, scientists once hoped and predicted that crops could be genetically engineered to resist various forms of stress. Alas, genetic engineering has produced only one commercialized stress- resistant crop, Monsanto’s DroughtGard™ Hybrids, corn varieties resistant to mild drought. No commercialized GE crops are resistant to being flooded (important in rice production), to cold, or to salt. Sometimes confused with drought tolerance, water use efficiency is the ability to maximize yields from a given amount of water, often irrigation water.32 Again, there are no GE crops on the market in this category. Monsanto’s public relations materials include posters asking, “How Can We Squeeze More Food from a Raindrop?” The answer is, if we rely on current GE technology to produce water-use-efficient crops, we can’t.

Foods a s Medicine

Of all the promises of genetically engineered crops, perhaps the most exciting was that they could be engineered to prevent human disease. In this regard, GE so far has been a disappointment, although not for lack of trying. Right now, there are no GE crops on the market engineered to prevent disease. There are some products that claim more nutritious oils and one that reduces acrylamide levels,33 but there are no studies demonstrating health benefits from consumption of these foods. Perhaps most famous of all disease preven- tion crops is golden rice, a rice that has been genetically engineered to com- bat vitamin A deficiency and the nearly 700,000 annual childhood deaths that result from this deficiency each year. However, after almost twenty years of effort, golden rice has still not gotten the green light from its sponsor, the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI). According to IRRI, the yields of the rice still lag behind comparable varieties in Philippine fields.34 Moreover, golden rice has yet to be shown to increase vitamin A levels in target populations, perhaps because the diets of extremely poor people lack sufficient fat to enable the absorption of the vitamin.

Ending World Hunger?

Finally, what can we say about the claim that genetically engineered crops would improve agriculture in developing countries and alleviate, if not even eliminate, world hunger? There have been successes with genetically engi- neered crops in the developing world, primarily with a fiber crop, Bt cotton.

Co py ri gh t © 2 01 9. T he U ni ve rs it y of N or th C ar ol in a Pr es s. A ll r ig ht s re se rv ed . Ma y no t be r ep ro du ce d in a ny f or m wi th ou t pe rm is si on f ro m th e pu bl is he r, e xc ep t fa ir u se s

pe rm it te d un de r U. S. o r ap pl ic ab le c op yr ig ht l aw .

EBSCO Publishing : eBook Collection (EBSCOhost) – printed on 5/1/2020 2:44 PM via HONG KONG POLYTECHNIC UNIV AN: 2240985 ; Ludington, Charles, Booker, Matthew Morse.; Food Fights : How History Matters to Contemporary Food Debates Account: s3890005

HOW OUR WEBSITE WORKS

Our website has a team of professional writers who can help you write any of your homework. They will write your papers from scratch. We also have a team of editors just to make sure all papers are of 
HIGH QUALITY & PLAGIARISM FREE.

Step 1

To make an Order you only need to click ORDER NOW and we will direct you to our Order Page at WriteDen. Then fill Our Order Form with all your assignment instructions. Select your deadline and pay for your paper. You will get it few hours before your set deadline.
 Deadline range from 6 hours to 30 days.

Step 2

Once done with writing your paper we will upload it to your account on our website and also forward a copy to your email.

Step 3
Upon receiving your paper, review it and if any changes are needed contact us immediately. We offer unlimited revisions at no extra cost.

Is it Safe to use our services?
We never resell papers on this site. Meaning after your purchase you will get an original copy of your assignment and you have all the rights to use the paper.

Discounts

Our price ranges from $8-$14 per page. If you are short of Budget, contact our Live Support for a Discount Code. All new clients are eligible for 20% off in their first Order. Our payment method is safe and secure.

Please note we do not have prewritten answers. We need some time to prepare a perfect essay for you.