news, features, articles and disease information for the crop industry

GMO Vs. Organic - Which Will Feed the World? - 23 April 2013

TheCropSite Weekly Newsletter
You are receiving this email as you are a subscriber of
The home of premium international crop news and information.
Is this email not displaying correctly?
View it in your browser.
Tuesday 23rd April 2013.
Sarah Mikesell - TheCropSite Senior Editor

Sarah Mikesell
Senior Editor


GMO Vs. Organic - Which Will Feed the World?

School closed due to snow – been there, done that (many times). School closed due to heat – unusual, but that’s happened. School closed due to rain – huh?? Yes, last Thursday and Friday our local schools were closed due to high water, which was a first for me.

We had about four inches of rain in the Chicago area in less than 48 hours. While that may not sound like a huge amount of rain, it came on top of already saturated soil. Needless to say, my 10-year-old twins were delighted to have a few “free” days off school (it hasn’t hit them they’ll be making them up in June along with a snow day).

On Monday, I attended the BIO International Convention which offers everything you ever wanted to know about biotechnology and covers well beyond food and agriculture, diving into human health/medicine, biobased chemicals, manufacturing, etc. At BIO, I attended an event called Food Dialogues: Chicago sponsored by US Farmers and Ranchers Alliance (USFRA).

The meeting was designed to answer American’s questions on some of today’s most provocative issues surrounding food and agriculture. The six-person panel discussion was respectful, but clearly disagreed over the use of biotechnology in the US crops.

Melinda Hemmelgarn, registered dietician and radio host of Food Slueth, spoke of the need for independent research and the lack of data related to GM crops. She also expressed concern about monocrops (corn and soybeans) in the Midwest and the “unintended consequences” of GM crops, noting we aren’t asking enough questions about the long-term effects of biotech. She cited statistics like the 18 per cent increase in childhood allergies in the US since 1992 which she believes could be linked to GMOs.

Dr. Bob Goldberg, molecular biologist and professor at UCLA, disputed Hemmelgarns assessment of biotech crops, noting he’d never heard so much “non-scientific nonsense”. He noted that globally, we have to produce more food in the next 30-40 years than in the history of mankind.

“We have some very serious agricultural issues and they must be addressed by the best technology that exists,” Goldberg said. “Every serious scientific organization in the world has deemed the use of biotech safe for human consumption.”

He also countered Hemmelgarn’s “unintended consequences” concern noting that GMOs are incredibly precise, safe and highly predictable. He said we have a safe food supply because good science has led us there.

The dialogue was interesting and important, but it was a wealthy country’s view of the world – organic vs. non-organic… There are people in the world that don’t have anything to eat. As in, nothing. People exist in a starving state. I don’t have any idea what that feels like. If I’m hungry, like most of you, I go to the fridge or the pantry or McDonald’s or Starbucks and get whatever I want.

We are in a growing world and we have to find solutions. And I believe technology and good science can help find the answers.

Have a great week!

The 5m Crop App is now available on your mobile.

Get the latest international crop news, in-depth feature articles, event details and more, delivered direct to your mobile device.

It's free and automatically optimised, giving you the best user experience.

TheCropSite Book Focus

Disease Resistance in Wheat Disease Resistance in Wheat
Highly recommended reading for researchers and students of agriculture and crop protection. An important book for understanding disease resistance in cultivated crops, combining the latest expert views.
Order Now Online

Biopesticides Pest Management and Regulation Biopesticides Pest Management and Regulation
Biological controls are an environmentally friendly alternative to chemical pesticides. Pests are becoming chemical resistant and substances prohibited. This book outlines analysis and debate on future biopesticide practices.
Order Now Online

This Weeks Articles and Analysis

Poultry Litter Application on Pastures and Hayfields
Nutrient management planning and recommended rates ensure poultry litter is used in ways that maximise its benefits without harming the environment, according to Julia Gaskin and Glen Harris of the University of Georgia, Alan Franzluebbers of the USDA Agricultural Research Service and John Andrae from Clemson University.

Restoring Balance in Rice Fields with Flowers
Women from Tien Giang Province participated in training to learn how to keep their rice fields ecologically sound and balanced – by planting flowers around them, a practice called “ecological engineering.”

Wild Parent Spawns Super Salt-Tolerant Rice
Farmers are set to reclaim salt-ravaged land thanks to a single rice plant born of two unlikely parents that is spawning a new generation of rice that has double the salinity tolerance of other rice.

Ingredient in Mass Extinctions Could Boost Food, Biofuel Production
Hydrogen sulfide, the pungent stuff often referred to as sewer gas, is a deadly substance implicated in several mass extinctions, including one at the end of the Permian period 251 million years ago that wiped out more than three-quarters of all species on Earth.

How Sweet it is: Energy from Plants
The Advanced Research Projects Agency–Energy (ARPA-E) program managers recently selected an Illinois project for a visit from U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu.

Market Reports

USDA GAIN: EU-27 Grain and Feed Annual 2013
USDA Sugar and Sweeteners Outlook - April 2013
USDA GAIN: Pakistan Oilseeds and Products Annual 2013
USDA GAIN: Afghanistan Grain and Feed 2013
Irish CSO: Agricultural Price Indices - February 2013
China Wholesale Prices - 17 April 2013
China Wholesale Prices - 18 April 2013
UK Agricultural Price Index - April 2013
Australian Weekly ABARES Report - 19 April 2013
China Wholesale Prices - 19 April 2013
USDA Crop Progress - 22 April 2013

Global Crop Industry News

   United States

Weekly Roberts Market Report
Beneficial Compounds in Whole-grain Rice Varieties Determined
Grain Council Supports US Approval of Japan Joining TPP
Invasive Kudzu Bugs May Pose Greater Threat Than Previously Thought
CME: Corn Futures Closed Higher Tuesday
Grains: Where are the Stops? Wednesday, April 17
Jim Wyckoff's Wednesday Closing Grain Comments
Obama Administration Welcomes Japan into TPP Talks
CME: Corn Plantings 'Off and Stumbling'
Was 2012 Really the 'Big One' for US Corn Yields?
CME: Corn Futures Closed Lower Wednesday
Grains: Where are the Stops? Thursday, April 18
Jim Wyckoff's Thursday Closing Grain Comments
Specialist: Post-planting Weather Could Decide Insect Threat
CME: Corn Futures Closed Lower Thursday
Grains: Where are the Stops? Friday, April 19
GeoGrain: Domestic and International Markets Impact Soy Basis
Grain Hedge: Volatile Weak for Macro Markets, Grain Hold Tight
Impact of China's Recent Bird Flu on Corn Demand May Not be Large
Jim Wyckoff's Weekly Grain Market Forecast
CME: Corn Futures Closed Higher Friday
Grains: Where are the Stops? Monday, April 22
Jim Wyckoff's Monday Closing Grain Comments
USDA Celebrates Earth Day by Promoting Water Quality Projects
Jim Wyckoff's Tuesday Market Update: Grains Close Lower
CME: Corn Futures Closed Lower Monday
Grains: Where are the Stops? Tuesday, April 23


World’s Gene Pool Crucial for Survival
Jim Wyckoff's Morning Report: Strong Demand for Gold in Asia
Jim Wyckoff's Morning Report: Lower World Economic Growth Forecast
Jim Wyckoff's Morning Report: Asian, European Stocks Higher Overnight
USDA Grain Review: Bids Mixed on Weather, Lower Chinese Growth, Bird Flu
Jim Wyckoff's Morning Report: Gold Prices Begin to Lift
Jim Wyckoff's Morning Report: Weak Manufacturing Data Affects Global Markets

   European Union

Inadequate Data Prevents EFSA Decision on Safety of GM Maize 98140
Legislate to Curb EU Supply Chain Abuses, says NFU


Food Price Index Up – Meat Prices Down
China's Hybrid Rice to help Philippines Achieve Self-Sufficiency


Irrigation Improvement to Boost Grain Harvest


Irish Fodder Situation Still Critical

   United Kingdom

AD Crops 'Efficient, Sustainable Use of Land'
New Groceries Code Adjudicator Explains Role
Abolition of Wages Board a 'Step Forward' for Industry says NFU


Pakistan's Oileseed Production Forecast Up


Irrigation Project Funding to Help Farmers
$2.1 Billion for Infrastructure Projects in Sugarcane Belts
Government to Reduce Food Import Bill


Rice Banks Helping Fish Farmers in Cambodian Coastal Communities


Harper Government Secures Additional Capacity for Export of Canola to China


Afghanistan's Wheat Production Forecast Down


Billions in Support, but Biofuel Benefits 'Are Small'


Mexico Facing Severe Drought Again in 2013


New Rice in Tanzania to Boost Production


Gillard Government Supports Groups to Protect Australia's Natural Resources

   South Africa

South Africa Oilseed Plantings Set to Reach Record Highs

   Korea, South

Import Price Hike for Agricultural and Fishery Goods in March

The Pig, Poultry, Beef, Fish, Dairy, Meat, Cattle, Crop & Bioenergy Sites From 5M Publishing From 5M Publishing

unsubscribe from this list | update subscription preferences


Our Sponsors