This Week’s Headlines
Anti-GMOs willing to starve world (Editorial)
(June 16, 2015) The fanaticism of the anti-science, anti-GMO movement is causing global suffering and, unless challenged, will imperil the world’s agricultural industry’s ability to feed the 9 billion who will populate the earth in the years ahead.
So declares Robert Saik in a TED Talk, one of a series of presentations on scientific, cultural and academic topics, offered by Technology, Entertainment, Design.
Saik is CEO of The Agri-Trend Group of Companies of Alberta, Canada and is a professional agrologist and a certified agricultural consultant.
Agri-Trend was nominated as one of Canada’s 2012 Top 50 Best Managed Companies and was recognized by Venture Magazine as one of Alberta’s 2013 top 25 Most Innovative Organizations.
In a passionate plea to allow modern technology to expand the boundaries of food production, Saik sites example after example of how the denial of genetically modified food and substance has altered the course of food production and consumtion.
He calls it food paranoia.
Here’s an example: A girl living in Africa grew blind because her diet consisted only of white rice.
Golden rice, which is a GMO, was denied by her government which refused to distribute it.
It could have prevented her blindness.
The Florida orange crop is being devastated by a virus.
A crop which could fight off the virus could be developed with genetic engineering.
Science is “hopeful we can accomplish that,” Saik said.
Since 2013, 3.1 million children across the globe have died of malnutrition.
How many have died because of consuming genetically modified food? “Zero,” Saik said.
A diabetic who is anti-GMO should be concerned. The insulin on which he or she relies is a GMO.
Saik stressed that he is not against the organic production. “If you want it, buy it,” he said, but you’re going to have to be able to afford it. It costs more.
What’s the connection between the organic and the anti-science movements? “Follow the money,” Saik said.
He said Vivian West, a designer and promoter of non-GMO foods, when asked how the poor people of the world could afford food should organic fod be the only kind available, responded: “They will simply have to eat less.”
Noting that for 25 years, science and human experience have proved that biotech and GMO are not dangerous, Saik said it’s time for the world “to get to know GMO” and to “celebrate” — that’s his word — fertilizer, pesticides, genetic engineering and most of all farmers.
After all, said Saik, GMO is “just the start of what’s coming own the road.”
Saik’s TED lecture is worth 25 minutes of your time.
We encourage you to listen to it.
Click here to watch.