Feeding the Future
How GMOs Could Help Biodiversity

By modifying the genes of plants, scientists have discovered ways to make food crops more resilient to drought and pestilence, and to increase crop yields, to boot. A team of scientists from Brazil and the UK has new research that suggests that GMO crops can not only feed more people, they can also boost biodiversity. The BBC reports:

Increasing crop yields could help meet the rising global demand for more food while sparing land to protect biodiversity, a study has suggested. […]

“The least bad way we can reconcile the rising demand for food production over the next 50 years with the need to protect the environment… is through this notion of land-sparing, which is pursuing sustainable but high-yield farming on farmland,” said co-author Andrew Balmford, professor of conservation science at the University of Cambridge.

“By doing that, we can meet our needs but on a relatively smaller footprint of land and spare intact or restored natural habitat for other creatures or for the benefits we get from nature that we rely upon.”

This isn’t exactly a novel idea—by growing more food on less land, we can lessen our overall impact on the environment and in so doing protect more of the habitats of the species with which we share this planet. Perhaps the fact that it’s being backed up by a scientific paper will be enough to convince greens of the extraordinary promise of these new food technologies.

Perhaps, but we won’t hold our breath. For a movement that seems to pride itself on having the backing of the latest research (how else can greens justify their costly and often inefficient policies?), environmentalists seem remarkably adroit at dropping that mantle of science when it no longer suits their preconceived biases. And, to the modern green, GMOs are a devilish creation—an affront to nature!—so vile that it’s not worth even considering the fact that study after study has found them to be perfectly safe for human consumption.

More than that, they’re one of the only promising solutions we have to the dire problems greens have promised us climate change is now bringing. In an increasingly crowded, hot world characterized by more extreme weather, GMOs seem a technology tailor made to keep humanity fed. And, as this latest study shows, they can also help us better coexist with other species. If that doesn’t get greens’ attention, we’d imagine nothing will.

Features Icon
Features
show comments
© The American Interest LLC 2005-2017 About Us Masthead Submissions Advertise Customer Service