Are biotechnology and sustainable agriculture complementary or contradictory?

The Economist is hosting an online debate. At issue, biotechnology. The statement is: “This house believes that biotechnology and sustainable agriculture are complementary, not contradictory.”

Defending the motion is Pamela Ronald, a professor of plant pathology, University of California, Davis.

The number of people on Earth is expected to increase from the current 6.7 billion to 9 billion by 2050. How will we feed them? Genetically engineered crops will play an important role.

Against the motion is Charles Benbrook, the chief scientist at the Organic Center.

Biotechnology is not a system of farming. It reflects no specific philosophy nor is it guided by a set of principles or performance criteria. It is a bag of tools than can be used for good or evil, and lots in between.

The Rodale Institute has sent out emails asking its adherents to vote no on the motion. So, I shall do the same. As of this writing, 54% of the voters believe GMOs are a sustainable form of agriculture. If you agree, VOTE NOW!

 

 

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