Issues of concern to people who live in the west: property rights, water rights, endangered species, livestock grazing, energy production, wilderness and western agriculture. Plus a few items on western history, western literature and the sport of rodeo... Frank DuBois served as the NM Secretary of Agriculture from 1988 to 2003. DuBois is a former legislative assistant to a U.S. Senator, a Deputy Assistant Secretary of Interior, and is the founder of the DuBois Rodeo Scholarship.
Wednesday, October 11, 2017
Seed Giants See Fresh Start in Gene Editing
The agriculture industry is betting that new technology for editing the genes of plants will yield enhanced crops—and potentially reset a long-running debate over genetically engineered seeds.
Seed developers including Monsanto Co. MON -0.08% and DowDuPont Inc. DWDP -0.15% have invested in gene-editing technology, which enables scientists to make precise changes to plants’ existing DNA. Executives say they’re also strategizing on how to introduce it to consumers without arousing the same fears and suspicion that followed the development of earlier biotech crops, which involved adding genes from other species.
“There’s a big piece of this that is about explaining the benefits,” said Hugh Grant, Monsanto’s chief executive, speaking at the WSJ Global Food Forum in New York Tuesday.
Monsanto and other agricultural companies for years have been campaigning in defense of biotech crops, which the St. Louis company helped to pioneer and launch to farmers in 1996. Those genetically modified crops have come to dominate U.S. corn, soybean and cotton fields over the past two decades, and Mr. Grant said that early worries about potential health effects hadn’t come to pass.
But consumers’ reservations over genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, have lingered amid questions over their environmental impact and their reliance on synthetic pesticides, helping nurture a rapidly growing market for foods made without genetically engineered crops.
The Non-GMO Project, which verifies food products’ non-GMO status, estimated annual sales of such products at $19.2 billion...more