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Many of the current GMO crops have been modified for herbicidepesticide tolerance. Are there current GMO crops that are not for herbicide resistance and will not increase the amount or change the types of herbicidespesticides sprayed directly to the crops. What about future crops?

A:Expert Answer

The answer is yes – academia and industry have, and continue to, work on many exciting innovations that improve nutrition, make better use of inputs, and increase environmental sustainability. Here are a few examples: 

 

  • The Plenish® soybean from DuPont Pioneer produces oil with zero trans fat, less saturated fat, and more heart-healthy monounsaturated fat than traditional soybean oil. 

 

  • I am proud to work on the Africa Biofortified Sorghum project. Along with scientists in Africa, our team has been able to increase the vitamin A, iron, and zinc content in sorghum, while also making the iron and zinc more available to the digestive system through the use of biotechnology. Once approved and commercialized, this product has potential to deliver high amounts of these important micronutrients to the millions of people who don’t get enough of them and rely on sorghum as a staple food. 

 

  • Other products either on the market today, or on the way include traits for drought resistance and yield stability in challenging growing conditions, like low organic matter soils with limited nitrogen availability. These products are important not just for increased productivity and yield, but for more efficient use of inputs like water and nitrogen. 

 

  • You might also be interested in the rainbow papaya, and how genetic modification for disease resistance helped save the Hawaiian papaya industry. Similarly, there is no known solution for citrus greening disease. Scientists at the University of Florida and Texas A&M University are closing in on a GM solution, however, that could potentially save the industry.

 

Thanks for asking an important question. Hopefully you’ll agree that while GM crops are not the only answer, the future is bright, with positive implications for farmers, food companies and consumers like you and me.