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
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
Posted On: Thursday, 8/28/2014 2:13 pm
Answered By: Steve Savage, Consultant, Savage & Associates, Tuesday, 12/16/2014 12:44 am
A: It is difficult to predict the answer to this question. Originally, it looked like only major crops (e.g., corn, soy, cotton ...) would have GE traits, because the process of research, development and regulation was so expensive that the investment could not be justified for most crops. That cost barrier has been coming down because of newer and better tools — most of which were developed for the extensive medical and industrial applications of genetic engineering. There are now examples... Continue Reading
Q: Regardless of the safety of chemicals being sprayed on food crops, what are the effects to the environment and communities who are surrounded by chemicalseed companies who spray pesticides around the clock?
Posted On: Sunday, 1/19/2014 9:39 pm
Answered By: Steve Savage, Consultant, Savage & Associates, Wednesday, 9/24/2014 12:05 am
A: For the last 44 years, the pesticide use in all commercial agriculture categories is regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency. That includes food crops (conventional and organic), golf courses, parks and the seed crops that are produced in Hawaii and elsewhere. Every product has to be "used according to label requirements," and those requirements are customized to mitigate any potential risks to workers (health), the environment (effects on non-target organisms), the neighboring farms... Continue Reading
Q: To your opinion, how is the continuing GMO-experimentings in wineproducing grapevines, (to create a possible 'beter' havest...) defendable in despite of the fact over 400.000 hactares of grapevines in Europe have to be destroyed by...
Posted On: Thursday, 9/05/2013 4:41 am
Answered By: Steve Savage, Consultant, Savage & Associates, Thursday, 10/31/2013 2:42 pm
A: The wine industry in the Europe has issues of over-production and challenges from competition in export markets. Certain "reforms" of the industry are being orchestrated by the EU in an attempt to address this situation (http://ec.europa.eu/agriculture/capreform/wine/potential/index_en.htm). I can't really comment on the wisdom or fairness of that process, but anything that negatively impacts a grower is of concern to me. There are some ideas for transgenic traits which could help... Continue Reading
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.