October 31, 2006
This is pretty interesting article from Jeremy Rifkin, whose job is basically to know about neat technologies that will shape the future. In it he argues that GM foods will become unnecessary, and that a new genetic scanning technology will allow us to greatly improve yields and plant resistances by traditional cross-breeding methods. Same result, but much safer.
Now, in an ironic twist, new cutting-edge technologies have made gene splicing and transgenic crops obsolete and a serious impediment to scientific progress. The new frontier is called genomics and the new agricultural technology is called marker-assisted selection (MAS). The new technology offers a sophisticated method to greatly accelerate classical breeding. A growing number of scientists believe MAS – which is already being introduced into the market – will eventually replace GM food. Moreover, environmental organisations that oppose GM crops are guardedly supportive of MAS technology.
And while there are caveats aplenty buried in the article, and the people who would like to own the food chain and sell it back to us will certainly do their best to achieve dominance, for anyone who has seen The Future of Food (which, by the way, the library has), this is good news.