Our new friend and journalistic colleague, Adelaide Arthur, wanted to contribute to MU Earth, and why not? She covers agriculture for a television station in Ghana and is here in Des Moines with a group of other African journalists from Ghana, Nigeria, Tanzania and Uganda. She works for Joy News on MultiTV-Ghana. She offered the following story and video clips to us today. Thanks, Adelaide! — Bill Allen
World Food Prize laureate speaks on biotech crop safety
By Adelaide Arthur
DES MOINES, Iowa — The safety of genetically modified crops, or GMOs, has been a concern mostly raised by critics of the technology.
For years, strong opposition to GMOs has overshadowed a technology that scientists believe is capable of addressing the challenges of weed and insect control as well as adaptation to global climate change.
Robert Fraley, executive vice president and chief technology officer for Monsanto Co. and a 2013 World Food Prize laureate, said Wednesday that the biggest limitations to accepting agricultural biotechnology are governmental policies and wrongful social perceptions brought on by miscommunication.
GMOs are safe for consumption, Fraley said.
Fraley said he is convinced that if countries are to double food production to feed their ever-increasing populations, they need to embrace scientific innovations aimed at fighting global hunger.
For instance, a new biotech trait designed specifically to improve crop tolerance to drought is to be launched this year, he said. The trait for drought-tolerance is meant to help improve corn yields in Africa.