Specter of organic GMOs raised by UC Davis prof
UC Davis plant pathologist Pamela Ronald has an idea that might make collaborators out of Californians who have commonly been at cross purposes. Ronald suggested that combining genetic engineering with organic farming may be the best way to grow food for a growing world population facing climate change and environmental degradation.
In a story with a Hong Kong dateline, Ronald told Reuters the world needed to use every technology available to secure food supplies for the 9.2 billion people expected by 2050, up from the current 6.7 billion.
"Genetic engineering is a way to make seeds ... Farmers rely on seeds for good yields, but seeds cannot solve everything," she was quoted. "You need some way to add fertiliser and control the pests. That's where organic farming has a lot to contribute."
Ronald helped develop genetically modified disease-resistant rice that China may begin to grow on a large scale; her husband is an organic farmer, according to the article, written by Nao Nakanishi.
Currently, organic farming certification agencies do not permit the use of GMO seed to produce organic products.