One organic farmer’s view of GM

Raoul Adamchak (at right) is a respected organic farmer and teacher who is stirring up new ideas with his wife, biotechnologist Pamela Ronald. They co-authored Tomorrow’s Table, a book about combining organic methods with biotechnology to produce healthy, cost-effective, sustainable food. Pamela has been outspoken about the book, but US News and Reports has the first interview that I’ve seen with Raoul: Solving the Food Crisis with an Unlikely Alliance. Of course, Pamela is an advocate of intelligent use of genetic engineering in farming, especially for traits like flood-tolerance. Raoul reminds us that genetic engineering is only a tool, one that isn’t worth much unless we use in a carefully designed system – such as organically grown Brandywine tomatoes that are engineered to be nematode resistant!
Via Pamela’s blog Tomorrow’s Table. Photo credit: Debbie Aldridge/UC Davis. Original caption: “Raoul Adamchak works with students in the Market Garden.”

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  1. […] Anastasia linked to their interview in U.S. News and World Report in which they discuss the issues in their book. Here is an excerpt on how organic farming and bio-technology can complement each other if carefully done: You mentioned that some genetically modified plants require less insecticide. That seems like something that organic farmers would embrace. Pamela: Yes, I think the public is not aware that the use of genetically engineered seed has dramatically reduced insecticide use. In China, cotton farmers were able to eliminate 150 million pounds of insecticide in a single year by using genetically engineered varieties. For comparison, in California, we spray about that much every year. […]

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