Steve Savage has more than 30 years of experience in agricultural technology having worked in academics (Colorado State University), at a global research company (DuPont), at a biotechnology start-up (Mycogen), and for the last 16 years as a consultant. Over the years, his research and consulting topics have ranged from biological control to crop protection chemicals (synthetic and natural product based); traits based on advances from traditional genetics to biotechnology; and crops from grains to specialty fruits and vegetables. He has also worked extensively on bio-fuels, fertilizers and on footprints of farming (carbon, water, energy and land-use).
From this Expert
Posted On: Tuesday, 2/14/2017 3:24 pm
Answered By: Steve Savage, Consultant, Savage & Associates, Thursday, 3/23/2017 8:29 pm
A: Yes, there are GMO crops which reduce the total amount of pesticide that farmers need to grow their crops successfully, but the relationship between GMO traits and sprayed pest control products is really quite a bit more nuanced. That is easier to explain with some specific examples. Generally the insect resistant, “Bt cotton” that was introduced in the mid-1990s requires fewer insecticide sprays. That is often cited as an example of reduced pesticide use, but what the Bt... Continue Reading
Q: Why do biotech companies knowingly create genetic mutations that harm people? More importantly why is greed the leading proponent as to their is a complete disregard for public health. After all cancer is a genetic mutation..
Posted On: Thursday, 2/18/2016 10:48 am
Answered By: Steve Savage, Consultant, Savage & Associates, Thursday, 4/28/2016 1:45 pm
A: As someone who has interacted with biotech companies for decades, I’ve personally known hundreds of the individual scientists and business people in this field. I’ve never met even one person who was driven by anything like the greed or disregard you are suggesting. I’ve also never met anyone who would have hesitated to raise the alarm if they had been aware of wrong-doing. Many have now retired or moved on to different fields so they would be perfectly free to speak out. I... Continue Reading
Posted On: Tuesday, 2/16/2016 5:45 pm
Answered By: Steve Savage, Consultant, Savage & Associates, Friday, 4/01/2016 6:48 pm
A: Crops improved through the means of biotechnology save land in two ways. One is termed “land sparing” meaning that if farmers can produce more output per planted acre, then there is reduced pressure to add more farmed land in order to keep up with growing global demand. The second way that biotech crops “save land” is more literal. Particularly when farmland is tilled (plowed) for weed control, it is very susceptible to erosion by water or wind. Topsoil... Continue Reading
Q: Are you really that confident in understanding billions of years of evolution when scientists still dont know everything about DNA? Lets be honest, youve admitted youre not perfect so obviously you are still in the early stages of development...
Posted On: Monday, 5/25/2015 10:35 pm
Answered By: Steve Savage, Consultant, Savage & Associates, Friday, 8/14/2015 10:43 am
A: Scientists will never claim to know everything about any topic, but when it comes to DNA and its function we have learned a remarkable amount over several decades. Scientists began to conduct genetic engineering experiments around 1972. By 1975 the growing community of researchers in that field voluntarily convened the Asilomar Conference where they self-imposed very cautionary guidelines and restrictions for lab research. Those were only relaxed over time as more knowledge was gained... Continue Reading
Posted On: Sunday, 3/01/2015 7:13 pm
Answered By: Steve Savage, Consultant, Savage & Associates, Wednesday, 7/01/2015 1:51 pm
A: There are many interesting and valuable crop traits that could be achieved with current and next-generation genetic engineering tools. Because of the massive investment in biotechnology for medical and industrial applications, the cost of doing basic genetic engineering of a plant is now a small fraction of what it was 20 years ago. Many key patents have now expired, so it is even easier for diverse entities to develop new traits. The largest remaining cost, and the slowest step, is now the... Continue Reading
By Steve Savage (Independent Expert) on Tuesday, November 15, 2016 - 11:21
Potatoes are a difficult crop to breed. However, after many years in development, new GMO potatoes that have been bred to be non-browning can help reduce food waste.
By Steve Savage (Independent Expert) on Tuesday, March 8, 2016 - 11:36
Did you know that organic produce has pesticide residues too? Steve Savage explores USDA data on the subject and debunks the myth that organic produce is pesticide-free.
By Steve Savage (Independent Expert) on Monday, December 22, 2014 - 16:42
In this blog post, Steve Savage outlines how genetic engineering could be used to combat plant disease.
By Steve Savage (Independent Expert) on Wednesday, September 24, 2014 - 19:39
What is 2, 4-D? Is it Agent Orange? Agricultural scientist and plant pathologost Steve Savage explains the difference between 2, 4-D and Agent Orange in this post, originally published in Biofortified.com.
By Steve Savage (Independent Expert) on Wednesday, September 24, 2014 - 19:24
Get facts about Dr Oz's recent episode on GMOs and pesticide from agricultural scientist and plant pathologist Steve Savage.
Steve Savage Addresses Samsel and Seneff study, “Glyphosate, pathways to modern diseases II: Celiac sprue and gluten intolerance”
By Steve Savage (Independent Expert) on Friday, March 14, 2014 - 15:14
In this article, agricultural technology expert Steve Savage analyzes a recent literature survey published by Anthony Samsel and Stephanie Seneff in which an argument is made for a possible link between celiac disease and the use of the herbicide glyphosate.
By Steve Savage (Independent Expert) on Wednesday, January 8, 2014 - 20:53
There are some really cool improvements coming along in several crops that have been developed using the tools of biotechnology. Whether these new options actually make it to consumers depends a great deal on decisions made by players who have an out-sized influence on not only their market segment, but on their supply chain. The question is what role these “800-pound gorillas” will play for the next generation of potential crop improvements.