Public outreach and education remains a strong interest of the IL Corn Marketing Board and IL Corn Growers Association. Many challenges faced on the farm can be traced by directly to people making decisions regarding policies and regulations when they don’t have any relevant experience on the farm. A group called “Green State TV” is working to dispel some of the myths, specifically about biotechnology.
“Genetic Engineering Isn’t So Different From Classical Plant Breeding – Just Better”
with Bob Thompson
Bob Thompson is currently a visiting scholar at Johns Hopkins University’s Paul H Nitze School of Advanced International Studies. He is a senior fellow of global agricultural development and food security at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs
In this installment of Green State TV, Bob Thompson dispels many of the misconceptions surrounding genetic engineering, explaining how the resulting agricultural and medical advances directly benefit our lives.
Genetic engineering facilitates faster, targeted breeding of plants. “Classical” plant breeding – “crossing two species in order to bring a trait from one species to another” – is simply too slow – and too hit and miss -- to solve our rapidly growing world’s need for food. Genetic engineering enables scientists to quickly and effectively isolate specific traits in plants to combat disease and increase yields. Classical breeding is less controlled, “So, you may get the gene you wanted… but you get a lot of garbage along with it.” Genetic engineering saves time and produces predictable, desirable results.
Further illustrating the benefits of genetic engineering, Thompson cites the development of hepatitis vaccines. “It seems unreasonable to me that people are willing to inject the products of genetic engineering into their blood stream, but yet aren’t willing to take it down their throat as part of their food supply.” (Actually, much European beer and yogurt are made with GMOs, but most people don’t know that.)
Biotechnology is the safe, effective, and efficient answer to doubling food production in the next 40 years.
Check out this video for more great information: