Monday, June 4, 2018

The real sustainability revolution in farming is New Breeding Techniques like CRISPR. Why are organic farmers blocked from using them?

| | May 29, 2018

How do we define 'organics'? From a legal perspective, the term can only be applied to foods that meet a laundry list of requirements set forth by the US Department of Agriculture or similar agencies around the world. But these rules leave no room for technological advances falling under the umbrella of New Breeding Techniques that could help us produce foods more sustainably.

Classic genetic engineering relies on transgenics in which genes from one organism is inserted into another.

An example: insect resistant soybeans and corn were engineered to contain Bacillus thuringiensis, commonly known as Bt, a bacterium that occurs naturally in the soil. For years, bacteriologists have known that some strains of Bt produce proteins kill certain insects with alkaline digestive tracts when they try to digest the bacterium. Organic farmers have used Bt in spray form since early in the 20th century. Although anti-GMO activists embrace the use of Bt spray, they have vigorously opposed Bt engineered crops on the grounds that they were created using "foreign" genes––even though there is no scientific evidence that GMO Bt crops are harmful in any way, and in fact are more sustainable than organic crops that use the spray form...........To Read More....

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