In the race to feed the growing population of planet Earth, biotechnology is quietly overtaking genetic modification, according to a new report by Greenpeace. The Guardian reports that the Greenpeace report set to be published this week highlights successes of biotechnology projects and claims they are outpacing GMOs when it comes to improving food production in what the environmental group calls a “silent revolution” in agriculture.
“Whilst the debate between GM and non-GM has used up most of the political oxygen, this report shows it is not the only – or indeed, the best – show in town,” Greenpeace chief scientist, Dr. Doug Parr told the Guardian. “There is a growing range of non-GM biotechnologies which show how a growing world population can be fed at a time when natural environments are increasingly stressed.
“It’s a silent revolution, making huge strides on the ground for the world’s farmers without the novel risks of GM,” he added. “The debate is not about GM anymore; things have moved on.”
In response to the report, some leading geneticists are accusing Greenpeace of a “bizarre” hypocrisy, according to the Guardian. They say that the same science is behind both GMOs and the biotechnologies that Greenpeace supports.
“This is bizarre,” says Johnjoe McFadden, professor of molecular genetics at the University of Surrey. “What they are talking about is essentially the suite of technologies that spearheaded the ‘green revolution,’ which eco groups such as Greenpeace have steadfastly rubbished for decades. Now they see it as agriculture’s savior. If GM is not up to much then why has it been so successful that crops such as soya are now all nearly GMO worldwide. Who knows best how to grow their own crops – farmers or Greenpeace?”
Via the Guardian