The Debate Over “GMOs” – Sarah Hovinga – Bayer – Crop Science

One of the modern techniques scientists use to introduce genes into crops to develop a new variety is by gene transfer using a bacteria called Agrobacterium. Basically, you give a gene that you want a plant to incorporate into its DNA to a bacterial strain. The bacterial strain enters the plant and the gene is transferred. A recent report goes into some more of the details about how this phenomenon of Agrobacterium transferring DNA into plants to modify their genes has actually been happening in a way in sweet potatoes for at least 8,000 years if you look at the genetic history of potatoes in countries like Perú. I believe one of the most fascinating aspects of science is discovering what wonders the natural world has already figured out.

bananas

Bananas and citrus are at risk if solutions aren’t found to combat Panama disease and Citrus greening, respectively. I can’t imagine breakfast without bananas and orange juice and hope solutions can be found, GMO or otherwise. We are working on both of these issues as a company.

A visit to Machu Picchu in Perú will convince you of what amazing farmers ancient civilizations, like the Incas, were if you look closely!

A visit to Machu Picchu in Perú will convince you of what amazing farmers ancient civilizations, like the Incas, were if you look closely! Remains of tiers of land used for crops scale the mountainside and show the magnitude of food that was grown to feed this ancient civilization. It was here that crops like potato and sweet potato were king.

community service event: packing food for families in need

Food security is a big concern and many solutions in the agricultural “tool box”, including GMOs, contribute to producing affordable, healthy food, safely. Many people struggle with access to meals, even in prosperous nations like the USA, and this need is one of the many motivators that drives me to contribute to agriculture. Our West Sacramento site recently participated in a community service event and packed food for families in need.

Natural mutations happen all of the time like with this tomato

Nature is funny. Natural mutations happen all of the time like with this tomato from the garden. Genetic variation is inherent to life and is what makes living organisms able to adapt to their environments over generations.

Genetically modified papaya completely saved the Hawaiian papaya industry from ringspot virus.

Genetically modified papaya completely saved the Hawaiian papaya industry from ringspot virus.

bananas

Bananas and citrus are at risk if solutions aren’t found to combat Panama disease and Citrus greening, respectively. I can’t imagine breakfast without bananas and orange juice and hope solutions can be found, GMO or otherwise. We are working on both of these issues as a company.

A visit to Machu Picchu in Perú will convince you of what amazing farmers ancient civilizations, like the Incas, were if you look closely!

A visit to Machu Picchu in Perú will convince you of what amazing farmers ancient civilizations, like the Incas, were if you look closely! Remains of tiers of land used for crops scale the mountainside and show the magnitude of food that was grown to feed this ancient civilization. It was here that crops like potato and sweet potato were king.

For me the discussion of GMOs is not about making a list of pros and cons; it’s about relating to one another and understanding each other’s interests and concerns. I could go on and on about how over 100 Nobel laureates are speaking to the safety of GMOs, or how GMOs have reduced pesticide use by over 1.2 billion pounds, but I don’t think that’s where to begin. Let’s start at the beginning and talk about what’s important to everyone: food, family, environment, and life. Let’s talk about the facts, constructively. Last but not least, if you’re like me and want to research, understand, and decide for yourself, there are a lot of good informational sites out there. Here are just a few of them and thank you for your time in reading what I have to say.

https://www.cropscience.bayer.com/en/blogs/corporate-blog/2017/sarah-hovinga-the-debate-over-gmos-lets-talk-about-facts-constructively

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