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Julie Howard

Former Chief Scientist, U.S. Agency for International Development Bureau for Food Security

Expert Bio

Dr. Julie A. Howard is the Chief Scientist in the United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Bureau for Food Security, which leads the implementation of the U.S. global hunger and food security initiative Feed the Future, and serves as Senior Advisor to the USAID Administrator on Agricultural Research, Extension and Education. Before joining USAID, she served as the Executive Director and CEO of the Partnership to Cut Hunger and Poverty in Africa, a nonprofit coalition dedicated to increasing the effectiveness of U.S. assistance and private investment.

Dr. Howard has written on agricultural technology development and transfer, the development of seed and fertilizer systems and the role of farmer associations in agricultural development in Zambia, Mozambique, Ethiopia, and Somalia. She earned a Ph.D. in agricultural economics from Michigan State University, and master’s and undergraduate degrees from the University of California, Davis, and The George Washington University.

Julie Howard is no longer an employee of the U.S. Agency for International Development. Answers from Julie Howard were provided in her former capacity as chief scientist for the USAID Bureau for Food Security.

Studies, Articles and Answers

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Q: Please list each of the benefits that GMOs offer the consumer. For example, why should a mother choose GMO food to feed her young child over, say, non-GMO organic food?

Answered By Julie Howard - Aug 20, 2013

A: While it is true that, to date, the majority of the benefits of GMOs have been realized by farmers, there are also important examples of direct consumer benefits. GM commodities incorporating pest resistance can and have significantly reduced pesticide use and resulting pesticide residues.  This is especially important in low-income countries, where farmers frequently lack access to safe pesticides―and may not be properly trained in pesticide use, or in postharvest processing to reduce residues. Foods with reduced pesticide residues (either synthetic pesticides u [...]

Environment Health & Safety