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Would Rachel Carson embrace GMOs?

Rachel Carson in her Fish and Wildlife Service employee photo.
Rachel Carson, the author of "Silent Spring," a book credited for advancing the environmental movement in the U.S., would have supported the use of genetic engineering in agriculture, says Pamela Ronald, professor in the Department of Plant Pathology at UC Davis. Ronald considered the possibility in an op-ed article published in Forbes.

Carson envisioned harnessing the knowledge of biological diversity — entomology, pathology, genetics, physiology, biochemistry and ecology — to shape a new science of biotic controls that would help control weeds, diseases and pests without further damaging the environment, Ronald wrote.

"Her dream of a science-based agricultural system may come as a surprise to those who believe that sustainability and technology are incompatible," the article says.

In her UC Davis laboratory, Ronald has genetically engineered rice that tolerates flooding and resists disease.

"I have to believe that, if Rachel Carson were alive today, she would reject the anti-science, fear-mongering of anti-GE campaigners," Ronald said.

Posted on Tuesday, August 14, 2012 at 11:06 AM
Tags: GMO (17), Pamela Ronald (8), Rachel Carson (1)


More indepth information is needed to form an opinion regarding pro or con on the subject of GMO's.

Posted by Pat Voss on August 16, 2012 at 8:13 PM

UC has a website containing science-based information about biotech and GMOs at

Posted by Pamela Kan-Rice on August 16, 2012 at 10:06 PM

Seriously!!!??? You think Rachel Carson would support feeding people GMOs without their knowledge with inadequate studies done by the cooperations that profit from them?? Really!!?? Who wrote this? You must work for Monsanto! Not to mention the fact that more Roundup is sprayed on these crops. Roundup is poison, which is clearly what Rachel was against. She may have liked science, but not the half assed science that is being done now using humans as guinea pigs. Sickening!

Posted by jessica on April 22, 2013 at 7:18 PM

Not all GMOs require Roundup. Indeed, many GMOs require less pesticides.

Posted by HR on May 27, 2018 at 6:58 AM

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