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Q: I have seen estimates of the reductions in greenhouse gas emissions associated with GMO usage due to reduced tillage. How are these estimates calculated? Are the reductions in greenhouse emissions expected to increase with further GMO usage and new...
Posted On: Saturday, 7/12/2014 9:10 pm
Answered By: Graham Brookes, Agricultural Economist, PG Economics Ltd, UK on Tuesday, 10/14/2014 10:39 am
A: The most current estimates of reductions in the level of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from GM crops have been made by G. Brookes and P. Barfoot (2014), and the information below is taken from this work. GM crops contribute to reducing GHG emissions via two principal sources: GM crops contribute to a reduction in fuel use from less frequent herbicide or insecticide applications and a reduction in the energy use in soil cultivation. For example, Lazarus (2012) estimated that one... Continue Reading
Q: What are the experts responses to the youtube video, GMOs Explained Dr. Thierry Vrain The Gene Revolution
Posted On: Saturday, 5/10/2014 4:42 pm
Answered By: Kevin Folta, Professor and Chairman, Horticultural Sciences Department, University of Florida on Friday, 10/10/2014 12:21 pm
A: I’m glad to answer your question, but it required spending an hour watching the video. I’ve never paid much attention to Vrain. What I have read is tired and uninspired repetition of the same old, same old. The word is that he was a scientist who understood the technology fundamentally but went off the rails due to some political motivations and a lack of a contemporary understanding of the technology. To give an honest evaluation of your question, I’ll have to provide running commentary,... Continue Reading
Q: Monsanto has a history of producing promoting dangerous chemicals and lying about their safety. For example, they started producing PCBs in the 1920s, knew they were dangerous by 1956 (as later proven by internal company memos), and covered up the...
Posted On: Friday, 8/02/2013 9:06 pm
Answered By: Kevin Folta, Professor and Chairman, Horticultural Sciences Department, University of Florida on Friday, 10/10/2014 12:18 pm
A: There are two ways to answer this. The first is sort of a copout, but it's true — the Monsanto Company is not the same company. It is a plant breeding and genetic improvement company now. The chemical end of the enterprise was sold off a long time ago, I don't remember the details, but they are easy to find. Moderator Note: Learn more about the history of Monsanto Company by reading this response. The better answer is this: When we look back at issues like DDT or PCBs, from any... Continue Reading
Q: Why do you think GMOs are the way feed people? DO NOT ARGUE that they produce higher yields to feed the world because we both know 40% of food is tossed out and another good portion goes toward feeding livestock- and also there is significant...
Posted On: Tuesday, 8/06/2013 3:29 pm
Answered By: Kevin Folta, Professor and Chairman, Horticultural Sciences Department, University of Florida on Thursday, 10/09/2014 6:36 pm
A: I’m glad you asked this question and that it was routed to me. I can keep this in perspective, and I want your help in the end. The blanket statement that biotech crops are useless to the world’s populations is not much of a testament to those that are glad to have them — and those that want them. There are well-documented cases where farmers in India do see higher cotton yields (Kathage and Qiam, 2012), and farmers throughout South America have also found the products beneficial. Bt... Continue Reading
Q: Has a biotech company ever harmed a large population of people effecting multiple generations with debilitating health effects and tried to cover it up?
Posted On: Tuesday, 4/29/2014 12:07 pm
Answered By: Kevin Folta, Professor and Chairman, Horticultural Sciences Department, University of Florida on Thursday, 10/09/2014 6:27 pm
A: If they did, the cover up must be awfully good! In short, these are the occasional claims from recognized conspiracy theorists, but they don’t have a tippy-toe in reality. Biotech crops have never been connected to a single case of harm, let alone a population, let alone over generations! These crops are extremely prevalent. If there were an issue with these crops, it would be easy to spot. A recent report indicated that 100 billion animals showed no decreases in growth or development.... Continue Reading